Aston partnership praised by government

Aston campus

26 September 2014

Aston University and Capgemini UK plc are featured in a new government report which showcases how universities and employers are working together to create a new generation of highly skilled workers.

‘Forging Futures: Building higher skill levels through university and employer collaboration’, published this week by Universities UK and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, examines how employers and higher education institutions are working together to upskill the nation’s workforce. The joint report focusses on the ways in which courses are tailored to produce individuals with skills needed by their sector, benefitting both employer and employee.

Capgemini and Aston University were praised for their launch of a new work-based degree, which allows Capgemini Higher Apprentices to progress to the second year of University to complete a BSc (Hons) degree. Two related degrees – Software Engineering and Business Information Systems - have been developed, and are the first sponsored degrees in the UK ICT sector to be taught and delivered almost entirely in the workplace rather than requiring students to attend day release at University. The degrees require two years on the Higher Apprenticeship and three years studying for the BSc.

The ‘Forging Futures’ report notes that both employers and universities benefit from improved collaboration, with businesses getting access to new talent, better productivity and improved competitiveness – both in the UK and globally. Universities also reap the rewards, and are able to provide relevant and up-to-date courses, diversify their offer and enhance employment prospects for their students.

“In a UK skills market where demand exceeds supply it is essential that organisations develop strategies to 'grow their own'.

Lance Doughty, Capgemini UK Executive Sponsor for Graduate & Apprentice Programmes, said: “In a UK skills market where demand exceeds supply it is essential that organisations develop strategies to 'grow their own'.  Our junior talent development programmes have made an enormous contribution to our strong business performance in the UK.  The Higher Apprentice and Graduate schemes that we have developed have been so effective that we are seeing increasing demand for these resources from right across our account teams, engagements and Practices. These programmes are now integral to our resourcing strategy, and I am very excited about the potential for more, ground breaking innovation in this sphere, including further collaboration through our partnership with Aston University.”

Ian Nabney, Professor of Computer Science at Aston University, said: “Capgemini was looking for an opportunity to explore distance learning and how this would meet university requirements alongside a work-based element. We have been able to design bespoke modules within our degrees specifically for Capgemini, which will undoubtedly help produce the software engineers and information system specialists for the ICT sector in the future.”

The ‘Forging Futures’ report follows recent findings from the OECD suggesting there are gaps in the employability skills of graduates in the UK, as well as issues with progression through work.

But findings within the Forging Futures report show how collaboration has enabled employers to tailor courses to meet skills needs - giving graduates more relevant skills and existing employees opportunity to develop their current abilities.

Read the full report


Notes to editors:

About Capgemini:  With more than 130,000 people in over 40 countries, Capgemini is one of the world's foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services. The Group reported 2013 global revenues of EUR 10.1 billion. Together with its clients, Capgemini creates and delivers business and technology solutions that fit their needs and drive the results they want. A deeply multicultural organization, Capgemini has developed its own way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM, and draws on Rightshore®, its worldwide delivery model. Learn more at

The Capgemini Apprentice Scheme:  Since this first intake, the number of Higher Apprentices joining the business has increased year-on-year; in 2014, Capgemini accepted 120 apprentices on to its two-to-five year study and work programme. This includes both Advanced Apprenticeships (16 years and over) and Higher Apprenticeships (18 years and over). In recognition of an increasingly important field, Capgemini is also in the early stages of developing a cyber security apprenticeship and aims to take on five apprentices dedicated to its growing security practice.

Those joining the Capgemini Higher Apprenticeship scheme can expect to become an integral part of the Capgemini business and given the opportunity to work on real client projects from the moment they join. Higher Apprentices are provided with everything they need to prepare for a successful career in the IT industry, acquiring technical skills in software engineering as well as broader business related personal development.

For further media information please contact Alex Earnshaw, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4549 or