Manchester Digital has launched an apprenticeship scheme to combat the tech skills shortage.

Local businesses including Auto Trader have worked together to formulate the Level 4 Software Developer apprenticeship.

Around 15 apprentices will be taken on in the first intake next month.

“Industry is crying out for a well-thought-through apprenticeship scheme,"  said Alison Ross, customer experience and operations director at Auto Trader. 

"Created through a mix of member and developer input, we’re confident this one has the perfect mix of technical and soft-skill training.

“We’ve already seen some great candidates, demonstrating the talent and skill we already have in the region - it’s now the responsibility of industry to ensure this is properly optimised and nurtured.”

There has been criticism of the education system for failing to equip graduates with relevant and up-to-date skills needed to succeed in industry.

Campus North in Newcastle is holding one initiative to combat this, with teachers being taught to code by companies in the wild.

Katie Gallagher, managing director at Manchester Digital, said: “After 18 months our students will be autonomous developers, equipped with the necessary skills to enter and succeed in the workforce.

“The severity of the skills shortage across the North is something which can’t be ignored.

“It’s something we can only tackle through collaboration and sustained effort into growing our own talent, to ensure we have a proper pipeline in place for the years ahead.”

We reported on Monday how more than a quarter of developers in the UK are self-taught and have no university education.

And one expert told BusinessCloud that tapping into the ideas of your workforce could help keep them at your company amid strong competition.