Tech Talent Lab: Decoding Your Future

 CyNam, Gloucestershire College and the South West Apprenticeship Company have joined forces to launch a new initiative to help SMEs and startups maximise the benefits of IT and cyber apprenticeships.

Tech Talent Lab provides comprehensive support to a limited number of businesses wishing to employ apprentices, to address increasing skill shortages in the sector, particularly in entry level roles. Apprenticeships are an extremely effective way for small and medium sized business to sustainably grow these skills, maximising government funding to cover the training and qualifications.

The new Tech Talent Lab initiative is supported by funding from the Department for Science Innovation and Technology (DSIT) to further assist SMEs to take on apprentices – providing them with a comprehensive support menu – simplifying and easing the process.

With Tech Talent Lab, employers gain exclusive access to a peer-to-peer network, fully funded recruitment support, and award-winning, in-person training provided by Gloucestershire College. Through apprenticeships, businesses can upskill and reskill their workforce, empowering them to thrive in the digital age.

Taking on apprentices in IT and cybersecurity not only benefits employers but also provides invaluable training and development opportunities for apprentices, addressing the pressing skill gaps in the industry. The benefits extend far beyond individual businesses. By investing in apprenticeships through Tech Talent Lab, employers are not only securing the future of their own enterprises but also contributing to the growth and innovation of the wider industry.

According to the National Apprenticeship Service, 86% of employers reported that apprenticeships developed skills relevant to their organisation, and 78% reported improved productivity. Moreover, apprentices trained in-house through apprenticeships are highly motivated, committed employees who have the desire to progress within the organisation.

Clare Vertigen, Managing Director of the South West Apprenticeship Company says "SWAC's involvement in the Tech Talent Lab is not just a partnership; it shows our commitment to help shape future skills, foster innovation, whilst supporting employers new to Apprenticeship recruitment and employment in Gloucestershire. Together, we're not just bridging skills gap but hopefully empowering the next generation of talent in this sector. I am excited to see the apprentices’ skills journeys and celebrate their success."

SWAC, a government-approved Apprenticeship Recruitment and Employment Agency, streamlines and simplifies the apprenticeship employment process for employers across all sectors in the southwest region. Acting as an impartial mediator, SWAC ensures that the apprenticeship experience is optimized for both employers and apprentices, resolving any issues that may arise during the programme.

Gloucestershire College, the UK’s Digital Apprenticeship Provider of the Year 2024, serves as the trusted training partner for Tech Talent Lab, delivering apprenticeship programmes in DevOps Engineer (Level 4), Software Development Technician (Level 3), and Cyber Security Technician (Level 3)


"Tech Talent Lab is a great example of collaborative thinking between education and industry, and as the training provider, we are thrilled to support employers by delivering award-winning digital apprenticeships at our state-of-the-art training facility, ADA, in Cheltenham.

“With the rapidly evolving IT and cyber skills landscape, we firmly believe that apprenticeships are a great asset in employers' skills development strategies, and lead to growth, diversity, and innovation.

“We only have a limited number of places available for this exclusive package of support for local employers, and we expect these to get snapped up quickly. If you’re an employer looking to put your business at the forefront of industry skills and trends, get in touch with our team today to join Tech Talent Lab”, said Andrew Bates, Vice Principal, Gloucestershire College.

To find out more about the programme and how to get started please visit where you will be able to find more information and how to be involved in the Tech Talent: Decoding your future programme.

Tech Talent Lab is more than just a program; it's a catalyst for change, a gateway of opportunity, for a brighter future for businesses and tech professionals alike.



Editors’ notes:

About CyNam:

CyNam, headquartered in Cheltenham, began as a modest meetup networking group in 2015 and has since developed into a thriving community of more than 5000 members. Their mission is to facilitate the growth of Cheltenham and Gloucestershire's cyber technology industry by providing a dynamic platform that connects cybersecurity and tech experts, local SMEs, and innovative startups with vital resources such as knowledge, guidance, funding, and business opportunities.


About Gloucestershire College:

About Gloucestershire College: Gloucestershire College (GC) is career-focused education provider, delivering 'learning that works' across three campuses in Cheltenham, Gloucester and the Forest of Dean. It offers a range of academic, professional and technical training programmes for school leavers, adults and employers. These include award-winning apprenticeships, university-level and professional qualifications, part-time, online and short courses, with tailored support for students from start to finish. GC provides bespoke training solutions to more than 1,300 employer-partners, enabling them to fill skills gaps and build a solid talent pipeline for the future. Each year Gloucestershire College welcomes 13,000 full-time and part-time learners and employs over 800 members of staff. 

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About SWAC:

About the South West Apprenticeship Company

The South West Apprenticeship Company Ltd (SWAC) is a Government approved Flexi Job Apprenticeship Agency and have been supporting organisations to recruit and host apprentices since 2009.  We have employed over 1,000 apprentices since we started; over 300 of these apprentices have been in Gloucestershire.  The positive impact we have had to our apprentices’ journey is evident with 98% of our apprentices successfully completing with our support and of those 99% have secured a full-time position or progressed onto a higher apprenticeship or further training.


SWAC are dedicated to the continuous development of all our apprentices.  Through the SWAC model, the organisation does not directly employ the apprentice. Instead, SWAC employs the apprentice, and the organisation becomes the ‘host’ employer.  SWAC works in partnership with their partner providers to ensure both apprentice and host are supported through the whole Apprenticeship journey to help the apprentice to reach their full potential.


SWAC would be happy to discuss Apprenticeships further with local employers who feel they would like that extra support to meet their business objectives with their own SWAC apprentice.


For more information call SWAC

Phone: 01452 733962