Skills For The Future entrant – TMT First

Skills For The Future entrant – TMT First
Posted on 12.04.24
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Skills For The Future entrant – TMT First

A Staffordshire entrepreneur’s dream to help futureproof the life of digital devices has become a reality – less than a year after he mounted a campaign to get a national apprenticeship scheme set up.

TMT First founder and chair Adam Whitehouse’s call attracted national press last year when he made the plea for an official device repair apprenticeship to be introduced.

In 2022 there were almost 72 million mobile phone connections in use in the UK, but as Adam highlighted at the time there was no industry training standard to repair them.

In contrast there were 33 million cars on the road with well-established nationally recognised mechanics apprenticeships.

Since Adam’s call Newcastle-under-Lyme based TMT First has been at the forefront of getting the qualification launched to help fill the severe skills gap in the tech industry, as well as upskilling and futureproofing the next generation of digital repair technicians.

Now the Digital Device Repair Technician Apprenticeship has been signed off by the Government and after launching at TMT First’s Holditch Lane headquarters it’s being rolled out nationally over the coming months.

In partnership with the Institute for Apprenticeships Tech Education it follows months of work with a range of partners to get the standards created for the 21-month qualification. TMT First, which employs 140 staff, is working in partnership with Newcastle-under Lyme College to deliver the apprenticeship.

Adam said: “There are millions of mobile phones in the UK alone. It shouldn’t be a case of if your mobile breaks, you instantly think about getting a new one. There need to be the resources in place to make repairs a go to option – it’s much better for a customer’s pocket and is certainly much better for the environment.

“Up until now there just haven’t been enough skilled technicians available to repair all the devices that need fixing and as the number of devices grows across the UK, the skills shortage will only increase further.

“The National Digital Device Repair Technician Apprenticeship is an absolute gamechanger as it is going to help fill that gap. Thanks to a huge amount of hard work by a team of industry specialists, including TMT, I am delighted to see the apprenticeship formally launched.

“This apprenticeship isn’t just about repairing devices; it’s about nurturing a workforce capable of making significant contributions to environmental sustainability.

“By extending the life of digital devices, we can actively reduce the carbon footprint associated with the production and disposal of electronics, which is vital as we commit to the UK’s ambitious target of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

A pre-curser on a local level to the apprenticeship, TMT launched its own in-house Training Academy four years ago to upskill the next generation of mobile device technicians. The 20th cohort of the academy started in February and so far the academy has created 79 roles in the process.

Now, four years on, the Digital Device Repair Technician Apprenticeship will replace it.

It’s hoped in its first year at least 40 apprentices will join the scheme, with the aim to increase that year on year.

TMT First has entered the Skills For The Future category of the Staffordshire University Business Awards.

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