Home>News>Unique Apprenticeship in Wales Launched to Develop the Next Gen of “Super” Analyst

Unique Apprenticeship in Wales Launched to Develop the Next Gen of “Super” Analyst

News | 22 May 20​24

A pioneering new degree apprenticeship – the first of its kind in the UK – will give people across Wales the opportunity to develop the skills and experience they need to become a data analyst.

Run in partnership between the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Cardiff Metropolitan University, with funding from the Welsh Government, the three-year programme will see participants earn while they learn, blending hands-on work experience at the ONS, with academic studies each week.

At the end of the apprenticeship successful participants will have achieved a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Data, Statistical & Economic Analysis.

The development of skills in data analysis is a priority for the ONS, which employs almost 3,000 people in Wales and has its headquarters in Newport.

Launching the Welsh Apprenticeship Programme at an event held at Cardiff Metropolitan University today (May 22nd) Darren Morgan, Development Lead at the ONS said: “Developing the analytical skills base here in Wales is vital for the future. I’m immensely proud to be involved in the creation of this apprenticeship. It truly is one-of-a-kind, pulling together elements of statistics, economics, data science, analysis, and even coding. It’s not something that’s available anywhere else.

“In designing the programme we looked at what employers need right now, and by pulling together all of these desired skills into one apprenticeship, it’s all the training people need to become a ‘super’ analyst. It’ll put them in prime position to get a job, in what is a highly sought after area of work.”

During their time at the ONS apprentices will find themselves in an analytical role that could see them involved in high-profile frontline statistical production, analytical research, development and statistical transformation.

As well as giving existing data professionals the chance to upskill and progress their careers, Darren – who over the course of more than 30 years at the ONS worked his way up from an admin position to become Director of Economic Statistics – believes the apprenticeship also opens the door of opportunity for people from different backgrounds.

“When I was growing up in Abertillery, going to university wasn’t a common thing to do – not everyone could afford it. So making this apprenticeship as accessible as possible is something that’s very close to my heart,” he said. “It can give people the chance to get the qualifications they need, for a career they might never have thought could be possible for them.

“Don’t get me wrong, this will be hard work for whoever does it, but they’ll be getting paid while they’re learning and the potential payoff, in terms of career opportunities if they pass, could be huge.”

Pro-Vice Chancellor for Student Engagement at Cardiff Metropolitan University, Professor Jacqui Boddington, said: “Cardiff Metropolitan University’s collaboration with the Office for National Statistics and the Welsh Government to produce this groundbreaking degree apprenticeship embodies our commitment to providing accessible, high-quality education that aligns with industry needs.

“By integrating rigorous academic coursework with practical experience, we are equipping apprentices with the vital skills and knowledge required to excel in the rapidly evolving field of data analysis.

“This apprenticeship not only opens doors for those who might not have had the opportunity to pursue higher education, but also ensures our graduates are well-prepared to meet the demands of today’s data-driven economy.”

The apprenticeship is open to anyone over the age of 18 with a minimum of five GCSEs (including Maths and English), plus the equivalent of two A-Levels, although candidates without the grades, but who have relevant experience in a professional data or analytical environment, will also be considered.

There are 25 apprenticeships available to start in September 2024, with a further 65 offered over the next couple of years.

Applications for this year’s intake open in June. Anyone interested in taking part in the programme can email: Entry.Talent@ons.gov.uk for further information.