Fujitsu have confidence in the Partnership’s degree apprenticeships scheme
Fujitsu have been working with the Tech Partnership from the start in the design and specification of degree apprenticeship programmes. Victoria Ward, Fujitsu Head of Central Services, explained how Fujitsu greatly benefitted from this involvement, providing the level of confidence they needed to know degree apprenticeships would meet their needs.
Victoria said: ‘If the specification had been done by a smaller group than the Tech Partnership, and also if we had not been part of the group, we would not be confident that the output would fit out business need’.
Fujitsu already have four degree apprentices this year, and plan to take similar numbers in the next couple of years. Their chosen education partner is Winchester University, with whom they have successfully worked before.
The fact that Winchester University is accredited to the Tech Partnership’s Gold standard for provision of the degree apprenticeship is very important to them. Victoria also believes that the Gold standard is important to the degree apprentices themselves, as they know that on a Gold standard degree apprenticeship, they are on a par with other graduates.
Asking about how the students were progressing on their course, she said that overall, it was going very well indeed. The degree apprentices tended to stand out in the workplace and also at the university in terms of their quality and standard of their work.
Victoria said: ‘They find it challenging, as they are working and then they have to study. It is tough, tougher than just going to university to do a degree’.
She also explained how the degree apprenticeship was a very good addition to the variety of opportunities that Fujitsu offer its employees:
‘Some students enter the company, undertaking a Level 3 apprenticeship and stay at that level, going no further with their qualifications. Others enter the business and do a Level 3 and then a Level 4 apprenticeship and then they can go on to do a full degree if they wish to. This provides candidates with so much more choice than was ever available before. They also get paid and get work experience at the same time’.
Fujitsu have a large apprentice community, which the new degree apprentices have got fully involved in. They have represented Fujitsu at careers fairs, and volunteered with other staff in projects such as with Business in the Community. During National Apprentice Week, the degree apprentices attended an awards ceremony for the ‘ One Pound Challenge’.
The One Pound Challenge was an event where internal teams of apprentices were challenged to see how much money they could make for Action for Children, Fujitsu’s charity partner, from the initial amount of just £1. The degree apprentices have participated in many similar activities, fitting everything around the work and study they are doing.