A student from Guernsey’s College of Further Education has started work at KPMG as the company’s first Digital Apprentice.
Nathan Pinchemain will combine working as part of KPMG’s Channel Islands digital team with time spent distance learning for a BSc (Hons) degree in Digital and Technology Solutions provided by the University of Exeter.
The initiative is being supported by the States of Guernsey, who are contributing to university fees, whilst providing access to regular mentorship for students undertaking distance learning.
Nathan Pinchemain applied for the Digital Apprenticeship after completing a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in ICT at the Guernsey College of Further Education.
He also completed a summer internship project run by the Digital Greenhouse which involved 11 local students gaining work experience on digital projects in some of Guernsey’s leading firms.
Nathan said: “I passed my BTEC with distinction, however, going to university was not a straight forward option for me and I was uncertain of what to do next. When I learnt about the possibility of a Digital Apprenticeship at KPMG, I leapt at the chance to apply.”
“I’m excited to now be working on internal projects, learning more about digital innovation and cyber security. Time is allocated for me each week for my studies, and each month, for in depth sessions at the university. This is a very exciting blend of learning and working, which is an excellent way for me to progress my career.”
KPMG partner Tony Mancini said: “As a leading employer, we are acutely aware of the challenges for the Islands to grow and maintain a relevantly-skilled workforce. Digital innovation is at the heart of our strategic plans and it was important to us to take the initiative and offer this opportunity to local students.”
“This is fantastic for us, a fantastic way for Nathan to start and progress his career, and fantastic for the Island as we seek to offer more opportunities in the future.”
Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, who looks after the digital industry on the Economic Development Committee in government, said: “The growth of local digital skills is a main component of the States of Guernsey Digital Strategy announced in April 2017. A few local firms already offer bursaries and work experience to encourage local students to pursue careers in this ever growing area.
“However, the opportunity for local school leavers to combine distance learning with real life work experience on digital and innovation projects is a breakthrough to attracting and developing local talent. We hope other firms can emulate KPMG and work with States of Guernsey to stimulate innovation and drive economic growth.”
KPMG have told Business Eye CI they’re planning to recruit two more school leavers onto the Digital Apprenticeship programme in Guernsey and Jersey in next year.