QA, a global leader in digital skills training, has unveiled a new apprenticeship programme targeting the development of future digital product managers.
Building on its successful initiatives in data, cyber, AI, and software development, which have trained over 30,000 apprentices, QA’s latest offering aims to bridge the skills gap in the UK. As business demand for product managers soars, with a 140% increase reported, QA’s Digital Product Manager Level 4 Programme addresses the pressing need for skilled professionals in this field.

Addressing the Skills and Productivity Gap

QA’s initiative is a strategic response to the widening skills and productivity gap in the UK job market. Reports, including a McKinsey and Company study, highlight that 94% of the UK workforce lacks the necessary skills for 2030 job requirements. With reskilling identified as a priority by 77% of businesses, QA’s targeted training programmes aim to equip thousands of workers with high-demand skills.

The Digital Product Manager Level 4 Programme, equivalent to a first-year undergraduate degree, is designed to meet the escalating demand for product managers. QA’s research reveals a 140% surge in demand for these professionals in 2022, making it one of the most sought-after skills. McKinsey and Company’s report underlines the urgency, indicating that 75% of companies view their product management functions as ‘subpar’ due to a skills deficit.

Comprehensive Curriculum and Industry Recognition

The programme covers key skills, including database design principles, system design fundamentals, task automation using AI, and applied product management. Culminating in a two-day hackathon, students will develop a product from inception to completion. QA, accredited by major technology vendors such as Microsoft, AWS, and Google Cloud, collaborates with 96 of the current FTSE 100 companies. Last year, QA trained 439,000 professionals in technical and digital skills.

Jo Bishenden, Managing Director Apprenticeships at QA, emphasizes the urgency of addressing the UK’s skills crisis, particularly as innovations like AI gain prominence. Bishenden notes, “If we do not take action to solve it, the UK will face higher costs, worsening productivity, and lower growth.” The Digital Product Manager programme aims to efficiently upskill individuals, providing them with access to a future-proof and lucrative career.

Innovative Certification and Application Requirements

QA’s Digital Product Manager apprenticeship programme aligns with the standards set by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) in May 2023. Beyond IfATE standards, QA is set to become the sole provider of ICAgile Product Management Certification within a Digital Product Manager programme, offering an internationally recognized qualification. Applicants need a minimum of one A-level in any subject and five GCSEs (with English and Maths C or above), with no prior experience in product management required.

QA’s pioneering apprenticeship programme stands as a significant step towards addressing the UK’s skills shortage. By focusing on the high-demand field of digital product management, QA aims to empower individuals with the expertise needed to navigate the evolving digital landscape and contribute to the nation’s economic growth.