The trade association Manchester Digital has announced it will be recruiting 20 new apprentices to help plug the tech skills gap.

Recruits will join its employer-led scheme level four software developer scheme, which is supported by firms including Zuto, Auto Trader and Rentalcars.

Students from the North West's schools and colleges have been invited to apply.

WE ARE HUNTING FOR THE UK'S TOP TECH FIRSTS - AND WE NEED YOUR HELP

The apprenticeship focuses on technical development through high-quality boot camps, but also prioritises soft skills, communication and commercial awareness.

With Manchester Digital’s 2017 skills audit revealing earlier this year that developer roles were the most difficult to fill for the fourth year in a row, with one in three businesses saying they’d struggled to recruit for these roles, schemes like this one are crucial for the industry’s future growth.

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The audit also revealed that more than 50 per cent of those digital and tech businesses surveyed had taken on an apprentice in the past 12 months.

Katie Gallagher, managing director of Manchester Digital, said: “Whether students want to work for a blue chip employer, a large corporate, or a tech start-up, the scheme has the support of a number of the region’s top digital employers so there’s lots to choose from.

“We’re on the lookout for candidates with a real passion for development, coding and problem solving who want to play a role in developing the industry.

“The talent pipeline continues to be a top concern for the region’s digital tech sector, with skills and talent still a key priority for us in the work we do.

“We hope that a focus on high quality apprenticeships will go some way towards helping us constrict the ongoing skills shortage that threatens to hamper future growth of the sector.”

 Assessment will take place between July and August this year, with apprentices due to start their roles in September.

Those interested should apply at here