ONS develops data science degree for apprentices

Host of Government Data Science Campus is working with national institute with aim of providers launching degree next year

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) is working on the creation of a degree level apprenticeship in data science as part of its effort to boost the national capability in the public and private sectors.

Data abstract - digits and a flashIts head of apprenticeships, Alison Adams, said it has submitted the idea to the Institute for Apprenticeships (IFA) – the body that sets relevant standards and advises government on funding – and begun to talk with employers to develop the necessary learning outcome standards.

It is aiming to submit a design for the degree by the end of September, and to make it available for learning providers to advertise next year.

“Initial expectations are that the course will take three or four years and provide a clear career pathway in to a number of private and public sector professional roles,” Adams said in an ONS blogpost.

“Employers will benefit from its potential to attract and build future talent, while apprentices on the course will benefit from on the job training, classroom or distance based learning and a fulfilling career.”

Analytics cohorts

The ONS is already running apprenticeships in data analytics, having taken on two cohorts and with a third to join during the autumn.

Tom Smith, managing director of the Data Science Campus at the ONS, recently told UKAuthority that there might always be a shortfall of data science skills in the public sector, but that the organisation’s efforts are aimed at reducing the gap.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0