Cisco today announced its training partnership with Multiverse to fund and tailor professional apprenticeships for employees in its partner ecosystem in the Greater Manchester area. The Tech Talent Accelerator programme will focus on business-critical skills in digital transformation and data analytics, helping to accelerate digital careers in the region.

As Greater Manchester realises its ambition to become a leading digital city region, in the next ten years public sector organisations will have greater opportunity and need to utilise data to improve services for residents and employees through the Greater Manchester One Network initiative.

With a total of 80 employees set to join the new cohort, new and existing employees from partner organisations will benefit from training and development up to degree level, through independent learning, group workshops, and one-to-one expert coaching. On average, those participating currently state that they spend 4.5 hours per day working with data. The programme aims to further increase data understanding and practice by 75%.

The programme will offer training relevant to specific roles so skills learned can be applied on the job straight away. Diversity and inclusion are built into all programmes to ensure training is delivered to a range of apprentices from different backgrounds and experiences.

David Meads, Chief Executive, Cisco UK & Ireland, commented: “As part of Cisco’s commitment to Greater Manchester One, our collaboration with Multiverse enables us to nurture the best talent in our partner ecosystem. The programme will provide important funded development opportunities in what is already one of the most talented IT ecosystems in the world. The only way we’ll close the digital skills gap – and truly embrace the opportunity digital presents – is if we look across the whole spectrum, from education to retraining.”

Euan Blair, founder and CEO of Multiverse, said: “Digital, data and tech skills are an economic accelerator that benefit both individuals and the organisations who employ them. We want this partnership with Cisco and its partners to have a real impact on the growth of companies, and the wider region. Apprentices in the programme will benefit from invaluable one-to-one coaching, applied learning, and a community of social, networking and leadership opportunities – there’s no better way to learn new skills than through apprenticeships.”

Yasmin Chowdhary, Apprenticeship Programme Lead, Cisco UK & Ireland added: “In 12 years of Cisco’s apprenticeship, we’ve had the pleasure of learning how to develop over 250 apprentices – our next-gen talent, 86% of whom are still with the business. We look forward to scaling our impact in partnership with Multiverse and through our channel. The Apprentice Levy has allowed us to invest in talent development across our ecosystem, and through our collaboration with Multiverse, to design and create a truly meaningful programme.”

36 employees from Cisco channel partners including CAE, CDW, Cisilion, Claranet, Insight and Natilik participated in the pilot programme which is helping to shape what will be available to future students. The training courses available through Multiverse for Cisco’s partners include Advanced Data Fellowships for data science specialists; Data Fellowships for data champions; Data Literacy for business teams; and wider Business Transformation learning. The range of programme participants spans the breadth of the partner organisations, including sales support, service delivery managers, and solutions architects, through to business transformation analysts, heads of infrastructure and finance directors.

For business teams, for example, learners will be equipped with the skills and confidence to handle data in their everyday working lives more effectively, including supporting accurate forecasting and determining the appropriate data to underpin business reporting.

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About Multiverse

Multiverse is a tech startup on a mission to create a diverse group of future leaders by building an outstanding alternative to university and corporate training. They offer apprenticeships to a diverse pool of young adults and those looking to reskill. Multiverse works with over 500 businesses, helping them embrace digital transformation, close skills gaps and develop a diverse talent pipeline. Apprentices benefit from individualised coaching, applied learning, and a community of social, networking and leadership opportunities.

Founded in the UK in 2016, Multiverse launched in the US in January 2021.