Cloud hosting firm UKFast has been praised by Ofsted for the quality of its training, leadership and safeguarding within its apprenticeship scheme.

The firm received the highest possible judgement in two out of three themes during a recent monitoring visit.

After being approved to join the government's Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP) as a ‘Main Provider’ in 2018, the business is accountable to Ofsted inspections.

Its internal training and development includes a team of four full-time teachers to deliver apprenticeships in IT, technical sales, events, customer service, maintenance, networking and software development. The team alos provides and internal training, workshops and code clubs for local schools.

The company claimed that the ranking puts UKFast in the top 10 per cent of hundreds of providers in the UK that have had the same Ofsted visit since 2017.

In its report, Ofsted highlighted the firm’s “culture of high expectations” and “highly successful strategy” for apprenticeship provision, which “aligns fully with the local and regional priorities for high-level digital skills.”

It goes on to say that directors “established strong links with stakeholders” and have “planned skilfully a challenging curriculum.”

As a result, UKFast’s apprentices make “very good progress,” with most achieving distinction grades and significantly developing their English, maths and digital knowledge and skills, the report said.

Ofsted also noted that the contributions of apprentices to the workplace are “valued greatly” by UKFast.

“The educational journey we’ve been on to combat the digital skills shortage began back in 2013 when we started working with local schools to develop the IT curriculum and make it more aligned to the needs of industry,” said UKFast Director of Training and Education Aaron Saxton.

“Just six years later we’re now an accredited educational institution, with the ability to deliver apprenticeship training to any other employer in the country.

“Supporting the next generation is part of our culture, and that ambition runs right the way through UKFast, from the very top.”

Current and former apprentices make up 20 per cent of UKFast’s workforce.

UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones MBE added: “Investing heavily in training and education makes perfect sense for any technical business. Our apprentices are incredibly important to us, they bring an amazing energy and have a huge impact.

“The best way to learn is to do, and we see that in the development of apprentices when they are given the right tools and a level of responsibility. They are so motivated and hungry to learn, it really is amazing to see.”