Burnley : News

Country’s first fully digital apprenticeship course launches in Burnley

  • Burnley is the proud home of the +24 Academy, the country’s very first fully digital apprenticeship course;
  • Delivered by industry professionals, the course will help close the digital skills gap to ensure UK businesses to thrive and grow;
  • Burnley ranks second in the UK for digital jobs growth.

The country’s first fully digital apprenticeship course has been launched in Burnley.

In what is a win for the town, the +24 Academy has been launched by Burnley’s digital marketing agency +24.

The ambitious +24 Academy project is a huge step forward in MD Dave Walker’s quest to help bridge the growing digital skills gap. The academy is aimed at creating thousands of new, qualified digital professionals, ensuring Britain can remain a powerhouse within the digital marketplace.

“Apprentices are set to play an even more vital role in helping businesses thrive and grow,” Mr Walker said.

Burnley at the forefront of digital skills

The news comes during the new Burnley.co.uk new Invest in Burnley campaign, which showcases some of the many reasons why the town is a business force to be reckoned with.

Burnley’s growing status as a university town goes hand in hand with its digital jobs success. Burnley is second in the country for digital jobs growth [1]. During 2014-2015 alone, it saw annual growth of almost 162 per cent, compared to two per cent across Great Britain and 30 per cent across the rest of the North West[2]. With UCLan committed to having 4,000 university students in Burnley by 2025, this will support the further expansion of this sector.

There are almost 19,000 employees in the digital sector in Lancashire, with the highest proportion working in Burnley and Pendle. Here, some 6,500 digital sector employees can be found. These individuals account for more than four per cent of total employment in the travel to work area. Between 2012 and 2017, there was a 20 per cent increase in the number of digital businesses in Burnley and Pendle[3].

Building on Burnley’s digital and creative success

The first apprenticeship course +24 Academy are launching is the Digital Marketer standard level 3 and a host of other digital skills such as Cyber Security will follow. Alongside the apprenticeships will be some shorter, tailored digital skills courses, which are in high demand as the UK’s workforce looks to improve their digital skills.

The digital syllabus, designed by industry professionals and leading experts, can be swiftly changed to reflect new industry standards, and materials included, to support colleges and training providers deliver the skilled courses.

As well as having access to continuously updated content, apprentices can take free additional courses, including lessons in coding, print design and social media management, and they can track their own progress through an interactive dashboard.

Graduates from the 12-month Digital Marketing Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard course will gain qualifications in industry-leading standards, including learning how to master digital marketing campaigns, social media strategies and data protection.

Former +24 apprentice Elly Littler says: “I was hired as a Digital Marketing Apprentice, and it was the best move I could have taken for my career, because the programme helped me learn and understand the theory behind work-related tasks.”

“I’ve gained more opportunities for career progression since completing the course, as it allowed me to extend my knowledge further and develop new skills that I can bring into the workplace.”

Case Study: Door4

Another business in this sector that is proud to have a base in Burnley is Door4.

What Door4 is a digital agency that provides business-focused e-commece websites, online promotion and internet consultancy.

Where Burnley Wharf, next to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Size 18 people

Why Burnley? “I’m from Burnley so I know first hand how business-friendly the town is. When space became available at Burnley Wharf next to the canal, we immediately expressed an interest. Not only is it in a beautiful location, but it is close to Manchester Road train station and the bus station, which played an important part in our decision. In addition, we knew we would have access to Burnley’s larger talent pool as the town continues to solidify itself as an impressive digital hub. Being connected to Manchester provides us with the ability to do business daily in the city, whilst maintaining Burnley headquarters.”

Leon Calverley, MD of Door 4
Leon Calverley, MD of Door 4

[1] Tech Nation 2018 Report

[2] Lancashire’s Digital Landscape 2019 Report, Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and Digital Skills Partnership 2019

[3] Lancashire’s Digital Landscape 2019 Report, Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and Digital Skills Partnership 2019