The National Archives commits to apprenticeships as part of plan to ramp up digital headcount

Written by Sam Trendall on 14 August 2017 in News

Organisation is only public body working with Ada National College for Digital Skills as it plans to increase number of digital employees by 50%

The National Archives is committed to fostering its own talent as part of plans to rapidly grow its legion of digital specialists.

The archive currently employs about 600 people, around one in six of whom are focused on digital. Over the next two years the organisation intends to increase its total number of staff in this area from 100 to 150, digital director John Sheridan told PublicTechnology.

A central part of that plan is the organisation’s work with the Ada National College for Digital Skills, founded last year. In partnership with the college, The National Archives has taken in five apprentices.

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The archive is the only public sector body taking part in Ada’s apprenticeship programme, whose other participants include Google, Janus Henderson Investors, and Ruffer Investment Management. Sheridan claimed that this work spoke to the fact that the organisation is “taking a long-term view of skills”.

“We are growing capability in terms of people and skills, partly by bringing people in, but also by growing our own talent,” he said. “If you are an archive and you cannot take a long-term view of skills development, then heavens help you!”

The increase in digital headcount forms part of a dedicated Digital Strategy for 2017 to 2019, published by The National Archives in March. The plan is composed of three phases: Reshape; Grow; and Accelerate.

“We are just moving into the Grow phase, which covers the next 15 months,” Sheridan said.

Look out on PublicTechnology in the coming days for a full write-up of our chat with The National Archives’ digital chief, and an insight into how the organisation is moving towards a digital future.


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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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