SolarWinds launches apprenticeship with Edinburgh Napier

Software firm SolarWinds MSP has launched a new apprenticeship in collaboration with Edinburgh Napier University to address the IT industry skills gap.

The capital-based company, which develops software to help businesses manage their networks, systems, and IT infrastructure, has hired two apprentices to start the programme this academic year.

New recruits will take an active role in SolarWinds projects for four days of the week, completing coding tasks with real-world applications while earning a salary, and attend university once a week to study for a degree in computer science.

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Eighty hopefuls applied to the scheme, with 12 selected to attend an escape room-style assessment day, testing teamwork and problem-solving skills.

SolarWinds apprentice Jude Scally is participating in the newly created scheme with Edinburgh Napier. Picture: Contributed

SolarWinds has pledged to take on at least two apprentices each year, with the potential to expand their programme in other cities and universities.

John Pagliuca, senior vice-president at SolarWinds, said: “The whole industry needs to address the skills gap, and we are proud to play an active role in helping to do so.

“If businesses want to recruit from a pool of excellent candidates, they need to be a part of creating that pool – this is exactly what our apprenticeship program does.”

Meanwhile, a cybersecurity degree delivered by Edinburgh Napier has become the first undergraduate course in the UK to be fully certified by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

The NCSC, whose parent organisation is the Government Communications Headquarters, has endorsed the university’s bachelor of engineering degree in cybersecurity and forensics.

Bill Buchanan, who leads the cybersecurity subject group and research centre, said the programme had been designed with “an industry focus, but also with a strong academic foundation”.