Multiverse and Deloitte Private, the segment of Deloitte which serves privately-owned businesses and their founders and investors, have announced a new collaboration aimed at upskilling the UK’s fastest growing technology companies.

Entrants of Deloitte’s UK Technology Fast 50 awards, representing companies at the forefront of the technology sector, will gain access to unused apprenticeship levy, donated by businesses which have not used all of their funds. Technology start-ups will then use the funds to either upskill their junior staff through Multiverse apprenticeship programmes, or hire new apprentices.

Deloitte will work with Fast 50 applicants to introduce them to Multiverse training, flagging the opportunity to use the donated levy to provide digital skills training to their workforce, or hire new apprentices. Working with Multiverse, businesses will be able to train their staff in skills that will drive greater efficiencies and business innovation. Around 10 businesses that have entered Deloitte’s 2021 Fast 50 programme, including ClearScore, Ticketer and Cipher, are among the first beneficiaries of the collaboration, with 40 apprentices enrolled to take part in Multiverse programmes over the next year, with an equal split of male and female apprentices taking part.

This includes 26 apprentices who have joined Multiverse’s data fellowship programme, developing data wrangling and analysis techniques, data science, including Python, and an introduction to machine learning. An additional 10 have joined the advanced data fellowship programme, a degree-level apprenticeship that covers areas like statistical testing, data ethics, predictive modelling and data security.

Multiverse matches talented individuals with careers and delivers world-class training in a wide range of qualifications in leadership, digital and technology. Apprentices benefit from one-to-one coaching with an industry expert and are supported by a thriving community with events, socials, mentoring and leadership programmes.

Jeremy Duggan, President at Multiverse said: "The number one barrier for fast growing companies right now is access to people with the right skills to power growth. No skill is more in demand than data - the ability to generate and interpret data is absolutely vital for every business.

“There is simply no better way of getting data skills into a business than through apprenticeships: they enable those in the workforce to gain the skills they need for their role, while supporting those at the start of their career to get into the best jobs with world-class training.

“This use of levy funding allows us to offer even more fast growing companies the tools to get the right competencies into their organisation, while offering people at every stage of their career an opportunity to learn the 21st century skillsets that will set them up for life."

The UK’s 50 fastest growing technology companies in 2020 hired more than 10,400 people, grew by an average annual-rate of 2,898% and reported total revenues of over £2.2bn. At the same time, demand for data skills is growing exponentially. In 2019, one in 10 job vacancies required data expertise, while over 100,000 data positions remain unfilled.

Emma Cox, Managing Partner of Deloitte Private, added: "The UK's economic recovery depends on the entrepreneurship of privately-owned, tech-enabled businesses, so it's imperative that workforces are trained with the digital skills that they require. Through working with Multiverse, we can ensure that a wider selection of businesses and workers across the UK benefit from upskilling. Not only will this ultimately help close the digital skills gap, it will also improve diversity across the UK technology industry."

Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 programme, now in its 24th year, is a ranking of the country’s 50 fastest-growing tech companies, based on revenue growth over a four-year period. Previous winners of the Fast 50 include Revolut, Wise and Nominations for this year’s Fast 50 are open until 3rd September 2021.