QA Launches Apprenticeship Academy for Defence Sector to bridge skills gap, empower SMEs and champion workforce diversity

Training Provider and award-winning Gold Member of The 5% Club, QA Ltd are delivering a national portfolio of apprenticeships in Data & AI, Cyber Security, IT and Cloud, Network Engineering and Product Management specifically for the defence sector community – further harnessing a wealth of mastery with QA’s longstanding experience. SME Employers referred by The 5% Club will additionally qualify for a supported Employer Audit, and their apprentices will be rewarded when they register for End-Point-Assessment.

Collaborating with defence supply chain networks Plexal and The 5% Club, the new QA Digital Defence Academy has come to fruition in response to the Ministry of Defence’s Digital Strategy for Defence – aiming to provide leading-edge skills to combat the geopolitical threats facing the UK, its territories, and alliances.

The need for greater parity for genders and ethnic groups within the UK Defence industry is prominent. QA is proud to be a partner of Women in Defence UK and a signatory of the Women in Defence Charter, groups established to promote gender equity and equality in the defence sector. QA’s Defence Academy will aim to accelerate this agenda.

“This academy is a collaborative effort born from the recognition of a critical challenge and the development of a solution,” said Toby Barnard, QA’s Managing Director for Public Sector.

“It will equip SMEs with a valuable opportunity to expand their talent pool, driving innovation and development within the defence sector.”

“We are delighted to be supporting the QA Digital Defence Academy, which is a great approach to widen the participation of SMEs in delivering digital apprenticeships and helping address national gaps in key digital skills,” said Mark Cameron OBE, Chief Executive, The 5% Club.

“The approach taken by QA in forming the Academy is aligned to our own purpose and really helps Defence Sector SME employers act positively to increase the range of apprenticeship schemes they offer, and then ensuring those schemes are open to all, irrespective of individual characteristics, social background or personal circumstance.”

Andrew Roughan, CEO of Plexal said: “Closing the skills gap in the UK’s tech sector is essential for us to remain a competitive nation and deliver on the government ambition of becoming a science and tech superpower by 2030. Plexal has been a long-time partner of QA and we’re proud to support the launch of the Digital Defence Academy.”

As the mechanics to support the partnership are put in place, those SME Employers who sign up to the Academy through The 5% Club will be financially supported through our Employer Audit Scheme; and each Apprentice who registers for End-Point-Assessment will also be individually rewarded.

For more information about the academy, click here.