Tech Industry Gold Degree Apprentices outperform the best graduates in the world

Degree Apprentices 2021


The 2021 National Digital Degree Apprenticeship Celebration Event took place today, bringing together degree apprentices, employers and universities from across the UK in a morning of inspiring and thought provoking conversation.

As always, the stars of the show were the Degree Apprentices themselves – representatives of the 4,000 studying industry accredited Tech Industry Gold programmes at 35 different Higher Education Institutions. A panel of four, working in sectors ranging from tech to health to nuclear, kicked off the event by sharing their personal stories of lives transformed by the opportunities these programmes offer.

Complementing this, 46 award winners, nominated by their employers and/or universities, epitomised the outstanding capabilities and attitudes which are making these programmes so popular with businesses. In roles as wide-ranging as software developer, data scientist, UX designer, network architect, nuclear engineer and business intelligence developer, this is the generation creating our future digital world.

Raheel Nawaz, Director of Digital Technology Solutions at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), shared the outstanding results from their Tech Industry Gold accredited programme, making the point that “When we work together, with industry and academia, we are capable of achieving the impossible”.

Having started delivery in 2015, MMU is now able to analyse the outcomes for their apprentices. They have found that one year after graduation, these degree apprentices are outperforming the best graduates in the world. Their average annual salary is just under £39k, compared to the average for all computing graduates of £21k, and better even than the average for those graduating from the top five UK universities of just under £37k.   Demonstrating the benefits of this demanding programme on academic success as well as career outcomes, 80% had graduated with a 1st class degree. Raheel pointed out that these achievements are all the more noteworthy given that 80% reported that they would not have gone to university without this pathway.

Event participants were also treated to fascinating insights from the cutting edge of technological research with industry futurologists Lauren Kisser of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Trevor Whitely of BT Research, and IBM’s CTO and Master Inventor Andy Stanford-Clark. This covered AWS’s work on conversational AI to enable interaction with computers through speech; BT’s fundamental research which is leading to the next generation of reliable, secure communications technologies; and IBM’s innovation in the worlds of digital twins, 3D printing and virtual reality.

Jonathan Mitchell, Deputy Director at the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE), shared the recommendations emerging from the Institute’s review into degree apprenticeships. It was reassuring to hear Jonathan confirm that IFATE is no longer questioning the value of retaining the degree within the degree apprenticeship and that the changes being considered should add value to our programmes.

We are grateful to these speakers, and all the others present who gave their time to celebrate digital degree apprentices and give them a taste of the limitless careers to which they now have access – including TechSkills Chair Phil Smith CBE,  Rafik Ishani of Deloitte, Jonathan Mitchell of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, and Tom Lovell, MD of TechSkills.

Those receiving Certificates of Merit are listed below – view here the citations and interviews with each degree apprentice.

Find out more about Tech Industry Gold programmes and accreditation.

Watch the recording of the Tech Industry Gold Degree Apprenticeship Event.


Award Winner Company University / HEI
Joseph Allen BT Ravensbourne
Paul Armstrong Newcastle Building Society Sunderland
Ibrahim Atcha Autotrader Manchester Metropolitan
Liam Baker CGI Winchester
Rahman Bakhishli KPMG QMUL
Vaiva Bauzaite Entrust Anglia Ruskin
Stacey Bishop Babcock International Exeter
Ben Brooks Bishop Road Primary School OU
Adam Bullough Carr Hill High School, Kirkham Blackpool & The Fylde College
Alexander Cameron Leonardo MW LTD Gloucestershire
Raj Choudhury SSE Chichester
Lucy Craddock Airbus Exeter
Tom Culley BT Ravensbourne
Alison Duffy University of Sheffield Manchester Metropolitan
Jack Eldrett BT Ravensbourne
Kieran Gohel Bridge Partners Anglia Ruskin
Frederick Gorst Capgemini Aston
Robson Grant Milton Keynes University Hospital
NHS Trust
Jordan Ince BT Staffs
Sonal Jain Goldman Sachs QMUL
Seferin James Cambridge University Press Anglia Ruskin
Harry Jones-Bierton Virgin Media West London
Nabiirah Kaseruuzi Accenture East London
Naimat Kaur St. James’ Place Wealth Management Gloucestershire
Jack Kay RCU Blackpool & The Fylde College
Jamie Lawrence ARM Suffolk
Simon Lodge Pearson OU
Frances Mahony Shell Energy OU
Matt McDonnell Ford Motor Company Greenwich
Niall Middleton Olamalu OU
Craig Moore Lloyds Banking Group Manchester Metropolitan
Alex Moss Accenture UEL
Selin Ok Accenture UEL
Sean Palmer Goldman Sachs QMUL
Sally Parker Capula Staffordshire University
Alex Payne BT Suffolk
Olivia Petris Lockheed Martin UK Gloucestershire
Poppy Pinner Goldman Sachs QMUL
Emily Proudlove Capgemini Aston
Roland Ramos London Borough of Camden West London
Daniel Smith SARIA Limited Leeds Beckett
Amana Souria Accenture UEL
Alisa Vara Capgemini Aston
Sephora Poorna Varatharasan Goldman Sachs QMUL
Matthew Walsh Barclays Manchester Metropolitan
Bethany Woodhead Mediterranean Shipping


About TechSkills

TechSkills is the not-for-profit, employer-led organisation which brings together employers and educators to develop the digital talent industry needs. TechSkills is responsible for Tech Industry Gold, the industry accreditation for education and training relevant to digital and tech careers.

Our mission is to create and promote industry-valued pathways into digital careers. Promoting diversity, we aim for a world where people from all walks of life have the skills to achieve their full potential.

We are a techUK company, and recognised as a Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) for the accreditation of degrees.