The past year has seen unimaginable growth in the role data and tech plays in our lives. The genie is well and truly out the bottle – and businesses know they must invest to keep pace. Only by increasing their data capabilities can companies keep up with competitors, increase efficiencies and power further growth.

Helping address this critical skills gap is at the core of our mission. Over the last 12 months, the number of apprentices on our Data Fellowship programme has continued to grow. Now we’re building on this by launching a full suite of data apprenticeships.

From today, we’re providing businesses with a data programme for every employee – from leaders looking to get a firmer grasp of data, to young adults just starting out in their careers, to data specialists seeking to fine-tune their understanding.

Data demand outstrips skills supply

Demand for data skills is growing exponentially. In 2019, one in 10 job vacancies required data expertise, while 2020 saw more than 100,000 data positions go unfilled.

Despite the clear benefits data capabilities bring to businesses and established professionals in their daily roles, most people still shiver at the prospect of handling large amounts of data.

According to research by Accenture, 74% of us reported feeling overwhelmed when working with data. This lack of confidence and skills costs UK businesses a staggering £10 billion a year in lost productivity.

Unleashing new data leaders  

Our suite of data programmes will empower individuals across all levels of businesses to develop their data capabilities. Through constantly refined content, deep application and world-class coaching, we’re creating a new cohort of data leaders.

This month, we launched an apprenticeship in data literacy. This new programme will help businesses build a data-driven culture by developing data knowhow at all levels. During the 13-month programme, apprentices will build their confidence in obtaining and analysing data – and learn how to transform it into cohesive, actionable insights.

Our highest qualification is the Advanced Data Fellowship. Launched earlier this year, it empowers apprentices to develop their skills in data analysis and data science, while adding immediate value to their businesses. Those who complete the Fellowship receive a BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions (Data Analytics) degree, awarded by the New College of the Humanities.

Data careers for all

We believe everyone should have routes to access well-paid opportunities in data – regardless of gender, socio-economic or ethnic background. As we all know, when it comes to opportunities, this isn’t always the case. Only 4% of those claiming free school meals in year 11 make it to a Russell Group university, while just 57% of those hired onto grad schemes went to a state school - compared to 93% of the general population.

So we do things differently. 36% of apprentices hired by Multiverse meet at least 1 of our indicators of socio-economic disadvantage, for example someone who has been eligible for free school meals or spent time in local authority care.

We know the value a diverse workplace brings to a business. That’s why 52% of the apprentices we place come from ethnic minority backgrounds, and 53% are women. These Multiverse apprentices gain a qualification from a globally recognised university, while benefiting from world-class teaching, 1-to-1 and group coaching, an on-and-offline community, and our unique applied learning model.

Learning is a lifelong journey

We’re excited to train apprentices in the full range of data skills needed in a 21st century business. This new suite of programmes is true to our mission of supporting people throughout their careers.

This commitment to lasting professional relationships is also shared by our apprentices. Those hired by Multiverse are three times more likely to stay in their role or get promoted than their graduate equivalents.

Among the businesses that will benefit from our new suite of programmes is DHL, who are training staff at several levels in data competencies.

Sasha Morgan Manley, Head of Emerging Talent at DHL, said: “Digitalization is pivotal to our Strategy 2025 and our mission to become ‘the logistics company for the world'. With such ambition it is important that our workforce at all levels can expand their skill sets to embrace digitalization and continually push the business forwards based on data-driven insights.”

MI Manager Matthew Bicknell, who is currently on the Data Fellowship, added: "I am really grateful to DHL for being given the opportunity to join the Level 4 Data Apprenticeship where I can develop my skills and interests but in data related subjects. I have been with DHL for over 10 years and during that time I have spent a great deal of time learning on and off the job to help me get things done within my role.

"Being accepted on the apprenticeship has given me the chance to spend more time during working hours to learn and apply new skills within my role bringing with it the ability to further utilise new products on offer like Power Bi and other Office 365 tools.”

Here’s Euan Blair, co-founder and CEO of Multiverse: “For many companies, their ability to grow is contingent on having the right data skills. And it's not enough for those skills to be siloed within a 'data team', they need to be spread throughout the business.

"This full suite of programmes will allow us to deliver vital data skills at every level and across every part of an organisation. Our mission is to create a diverse group of future leaders and what's so exciting about the range of data apprenticeships we're now offering is that they can support people right from the start of their careers all the way through to the boardroom."

Get in touch to find out more about our data apprenticeship programmes