College of Further Education student, Nathan Pinchemain, has started work as KPMG’s first Digital Apprentice in Guernsey.

Under the apprenticeship, Mr Pinchemain will combine working as part of KPMG in the Channel Islands’ Digital Team, whilst undertaking distance learning for a BSc (Hons) degree in Digital and Technology Solutions provided by the University of Exeter. The initiative is supported by the States of Guernsey, who are contributing to university fees, whilst providing access to regular mentorship for students undertaking distance learning.

Nathan Pinchemain successfully applied for the Digital Apprenticeship after completing a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in ICT at the Guernsey College of Further Education, after taking part in a summer internship project run by Digital Greenhouse. The internship involved 11 local students gaining work experience on digital projects in some of Guernsey’s leading firms, which comprised three weeks for six students at KPMG.

Mr Pinchemain says:

‘I passed my BTEC with distinction, however, going to university was not a straight forward option for me and I was uncertain of what to do next. When I learnt about the possibility of a Digital Apprenticeship at KPMG, I leapt at the chance to apply. I’m excited to now be working for KPMG on internal projects, learning more about digital innovation and cyber security. Time is allocated for me each week for my studies, and each month, for in depth sessions at the university. This is a very exciting blend of learning and working, which is an excellent way for me to progress my career.’

Tony Mancini, Partner, KPMG, says:

‘As a leading employer, we are acutely aware of the challenges for the Islands to grow and maintain a relevantly-skilled workforce. Digital innovation is at the heart of our strategic plans and it was important to us to take the initiative and offer this opportunity to local students. This is fantastic for us, a fantastic way for Nathan to start and progress his career, and fantastic for the Island as we seek to offer more opportunities in the future’.

Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, Digital representative for the Committee for Economic Development, says:

‘The growth of local digital skills is a main component of the States of Guernsey Digital Strategy announced in April 2017. A few local firms already offer bursaries and work experience to encourage local students to pursue careers in this ever growing area. However, the opportunity for local school leavers to combine distance learning with real life work experience on digital and innovation projects is a breakthrough to attracting and developing local talent. We hope other firms can emulate KPMG and work with States of Guernsey to stimulate innovation and drive economic growth’.

KPMG in the Channel Islands have grown their core digital team to eight members in 2017, providing assurance and data, and analytical services to support audit expertise, advice in cyber security and data protection, all whilst conducting innovation projects inspired and enabled by the use of emerging technologies. These include RPA and automation software, and blockchain technology. There are plans for further growth, developing digital capabilities across the business and with clients, and to recruit two more school leavers onto the Digital Apprenticeship programme in Guernsey and Jersey in 2018.

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