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Quicksilva launch Tech Industry Gold Degree with Tech Partnership

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The announcement comes following close collaboration between Quicksilva and the Tech Partnership under their Tech Industry Gold degree programme, which saw Quicksilva form an Employer Partnership with the University of Winchester.  Under the programme, 19 year old Callum will study for a BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions at the University of Winchester for one day a week and work at Quicksilva the other four days.

Stella McKnight, Director of Employer Partnerships at the University of Winchester explained: ‘We work side by side with employers to ensure that the organisation and the apprentices have a rewarding experience: the result is that the company gets an employee with skills that are precisely tailored to its needs, and the apprentice gets a top-notch academic experience which sets them up to do well in their chosen career’.

Winchester University Group
Image from left to right: Stella McKnight (Director for Employer Partnerships, Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer, University of Winchester), David Birks (Dean Of Faculty, Business Law and Sport, University of Winchester), Callum Gunston (IT Solutions Apprentice, Quicksilva), Andy Cripps (Operations Director, Quicksilva), Gayna Hart (Founder and Managing Director, Quicksilva), Bob Clift (The Tech Partnership)


Quicksilva is the first SME to run the scheme, which is has been recognised by tech giants such as Accenture, BT and Fujitsu. Gayna Hart, Founder and Managing Director of Quicksilva and on the board of the Tech Partnership explains how she knows first-hand the value an apprenticeship can offer SMEs:

“Having sat on the employer panel that developed the apprenticeship, we knew that the content met our needs. Working with a Tech Industry Gold endorsed training provider like the University of Winchester meant we could also be sure of high quality delivery. We’re delighted that Callum’s joined us and I’d certainly encourage other small businesses to consider this rigorous, yet flexible, programme.”

Quicksilva have taken care to ensure that Callum’s work schedule mirrors his study. Andy Cripps, Operations Director explained “The degree apprenticeship programme works for both of us. Callum will get the chance to expand his academic horizons and learn new ways of approaching problems, while we will benefit from his existing enthusiasm and his newly acquired skills.”

Callum could have chosen a traditional undergraduate experience, but opted instead for the Degree Apprenticeship “I felt it was a more effective way to learn - The fact that you learn a new skill, and then get to use it right away at work, fixes the learning in your mind. Quicksilva have developed a structured training plan for me that matches what I’m learning at university”.

The Quicksilva team is a close one and a work-hard, play-hard culture underpins daily life. How an apprentice fits into this culture was a key consideration for Andy: “We felt Callum’s values and behaviours were right for us – in a small business, it’s important for new recruits to be a good cultural fit.”

And as for Callum? He is pleased as punch: “I was almost suspicious when I heard about the scheme – it seemed so good, I wondered what the catch was. But there is no catch – it’s a true win-win. I’ve got a dream job doing exactly what I want.”

To find out more about Degree Apprenticeships and the Tech Partnership, Click Here.

For more information about Quicksilva and its people, visit our website or contact Operations Director Andy Cripps on 01249 751000.

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