Diversity in Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships attract uniquely talented learners who love to learn and progress themselves. There are lots of reasons why under-represented groups like BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic), women and those with learning difficulties aren't represented as well as they could be in IT apprenticeships. We're doing more to make IT apprenticeships open and accessible to everyone who wants to accelerate their IT career with Firebrand.

Apprentices with autism

National Autistic Society

Firebrand partnered with the National Autistic Society (NAS) in 2017 to support autistic learners throughout their apprenticeship. Since then, we've provided Autism Awareness training to our staff to make sure we're continually supporting apprentices with autism, as well as their employers.

Autistic learners have a wealth of positive attributes that mean a career in tech, and learning with Firebrand, is an environment for them to thrive and bring rare skills to employers around the country. Unfortunately, lack of awareness about autism from employers means skills are often overlooked. We're here to help remedy the negavtive stereotypes and prove that anyone can exceed as an IT apprentice.

Click here to learn about Alexei, a learner with Asperger's Syndrome who completed his Software Developer apprenticeship with Distinction

Benefits to employing autistic people

Autistic apprentices offer their employers a number of skills that don't come naturally to others. Just a few are listed below:

What makes Firebrand's apprenticeships suitable for autistic learners?

1-1 Learning Mentor support

Every Firebrand apprentice receives support from a Learning Mentor, who knows exactly what it’s like to be an IT professional. Our team have experience with some of the UK’s biggest employers like Lloyds Banking Group and the BBC. Apprentices and employers receive regular visits and contact from their Learning Mentor to make sure that any problems, questions or concerns are addressed quickly to ensure everybody's on the same page.

Before their first formal session with Learning Mentors, apprentices complete a research exercise to present to their Learning Mentor at the session. This ice-breaking activity immediately immerses apprentices in their learning and helps Learning Mentors judge the apprentice’s personal approach, level of knowledge and learning style. The meeting also offers an opportunity for autistic learners to talk about any workplace or training adjustments to make their apprenticeship journey as suitable as possible.

Structured, distraction-free accelerated learning

Thanks to Firebrand's distraction-free training model, autistic learners can thrive in an environment that supports a focussed approach, with optional adjustments to workstations, breaks and lunches if needed.

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