£300,000 Investment by the DVLA for Up-skilling its workforce

In September 2015, 20 employees of the DVLA will be starting their two-year Foundation Degree Programme in Computer Science (FdSc). The inclusion of the DVLA students on this programme of study is being paid for by a £300,000 grant provided by the DVLA.

Foundation Degree DVLAThe DVLA is currently embarking on a grand challenge of in-sourcing its digital operation, which has historically been outsourced to major IT companies at great expense to the organisation. This effort is in line with the wider Government Digital Services project (GDS - see https://gds.blog.gov.uk).

To face this challenge, the DVLA is enrolling 20 of its employees onto the Computer Science Foundation Degree at Swansea. According to Nigel Willis, ITD Head of Portfolio Control & Capability at the DVLA, "This action is taken to address our short-term need to up-skill staff in computing technology and play a major part in us taking control of our IT services. This will directly contribute towards the economic development of our operation through formalising our ‘digital’ skills capability that will expand our current work; attract additional Government service development and delivery activities to the organisation; and consequently support the growth of our local supplier base working in the digital arena."

Well over one hundred employees of the DVLA applied to take advantage of this opportunity, from which 20 have been selected to join the first of potentially more than one cohort of DVLA students studying for the FdSc.

The Foundation Degree programme - which reflects the first two years of an Honours degree programme - is a work-based programme open only to full-time employees of (typically) private companies. Having just recently created the programme, we are this year seeing our first 35 graduates being awarded their FdSc degrees. According to Professor Faron Moller, the Director of the Foundation Degree programme, "We are delighted to see the success of the Foundation Degree programme, and the success of its first graduates who have used this to progress in their organisations. With such a large cohort of students coming from a single organisation, the DVLA, particularly in the framework of the industrially-facing  Computational Foundry, the next few years promises to be a particularly interesting and vibrant time for this programme and the Department."
The FdSc is fully accredited for the Higher Apprenticeship Framework Level 4 Qualification; furthermore, graduates can apply for direct entry into the final year of our Honours BSc Software Engineering programme which has CEng accreditation. There are thus many professional benefits to both the students and their employers.