TDM Blog

Derrin Kent   |   March 18th, 2016, 6:19 pm

National Apprenticeship Week 2016

Derrin Kent   |   October 9th, 2015, 5:06 pm

Celebrating Apprenticeship Success

Apprentices from TDM Wyre Academy have been honoured at a graduation ceremony, attended by family, friends, employers, trainers and assessors.  The apprentices, employed by organisations around Worcestershire and the Midlands, have completed their apprenticeships across a wide range of IT disciplines, including Information Systems, Software Development, Web Design, and IT Support.

IT Apprentices celebrating at their graduation ceremony

This year there were 46 graduating apprentices, with 11 attending the ceremony at St. George’s Hall, Bewdley.  Graduation certificates were presented by, Derrin Kent and Duncan Carson from the TDM Wyre  Academy.  The apprentice graduates were also joined by guest of honour, John Pritchard, Director of Apprenticeships, Standards and Quality of the Tech Partnership.

John Pritchard said; “Higher Apprentices are bringing in fresh ideas and excellent new talent to the sector. By completing a Tech Industry Gold accredited apprenticeship in IT, these young people now have career paths that are genuinely limitless.”

Apprentices were present from organisations across Worcestershire and the Midlands, including AVL, Dolphin Computer Access, Datascan Retail Systems, King Charles I School, Oosha IT, Sanctuary Group, Southall School and UK Oak Doors.

Sue Carrier, whose son Luke received his Tech Industry Gold Higher Apprenticeship said; “Thank you to all at TDM for the wonderful welcome and hospitality at the apprentice graduation ceremony. Congratulations to all graduates. Thank you TDM for the commitment, support and guidance my son received throughout his apprenticeship.”

Derrin Kent, TDM Wyre Academy Managing Director said; “I am delighted that we are able to recognise the achievements of apprentices who have worked extremely hard to achieve their Higher and Advanced apprenticeships.  We’d also like to thank employers for investing in Apprenticeships that offer ambitious, talented young people excellent career prospects and give organisations a route to grow and develop a highly qualified and motivated workforce. We’d urge anyone interested – both employers and potential apprentices – to get in touch with TDM’s Apprenticeships team.”

TDM Wyre Academy, a specialist training provider established in 2010, works with employers and young people across Worcestershire and the Midlands to deliver Tech Industry Gold accredited IT apprenticeships and Digital Marketing apprenticeships.

Tech Industry Gold Higher Apprentice Graduates: Jonathan Barrett, Hannah Astbury-Jones, Luke Carrier, Tabi Jones, Ben Ridgway and James Powell – joined by Derrin Kent of TDM and John Pritchard of The Tech Partnership.

Derrin Kent   |   August 13th, 2015, 4:29 pm

More Digital Apprentices essential to ensuring Britain’s growth

The Tech Partnership, the network of employers collaborating to create the skills for the digital economy, has called for an increase in the number of digital apprentices after research reveals the UK requires 134,000 new tech specialists every year.

Has your business embraced tech apprenticeships as a key weapon in the battle for faster business growth?

  • Apprenticeships are rapidly growing in popularity and sophistication.
  • They provide a way to attract new talent into digital careers and address a widening gap in the supply of skilled recruits.

School leavers are increasingly understanding the benefits of the apprenticeship route and TDM Wyre Academy ( has seen a doubling in the number of IT apprenticeship applicants in the last 12 months. TDM currently boasts a record high in the number of new IT Higher and Advanced apprenticeship vacancies with employers across the Midlands and in Manchester that are on offer to school and college leavers this Summer.

According to Experian analysis of ONS and Tech Partnership  data, the UK currently requires 134,000 new tech specialists every year, with around half of these being in junior level roles. 1.3m people now work as tech specialists, an increase of 6% in 2014 alone. With 42% of companies in all sectors looking to recruit tech specialists already saying these vacancies are hard to fill, the search for talent is getting tougher.

Considerations when selecting an apprenticeship training provider

Choose a specialist provider who will:

  1. Help you prepare and advertise your vacancy
  2. Inform you the level of government funding available for the Apprenticeship programme and whether you are entitled to any financial support
  3. Manage the recruitment process, interview, assess, filter and shortlist suitable candidates for your employer interview
  4. Develop a detailed Apprenticeship programme that meets your business needs
  5. Create  individual bespoke learning and development plans for your apprentices
  6. Provide approved and accredited ongoing assessment, support and advice throughout the apprenticeship period to you and your apprentice

TDM is a specialist IT and digital skills training provider approved by the Tech Partnership to deliver Higher and Advanced Tech Gold apprenticeship programmes in England.

Stats: source

Derrin Kent   |   March 9th, 2015, 12:15 pm

Finding a High Quality Apprenticeship Training Provider

It can be difficult and time consuming to identify high quality apprenticeship programmes for apprentices. To make it easier for employers to offer apprenticeships with confidence, employers in the Tech Partnership collaborate to accredit high quality programmes as Tech Industry Gold. TDM Wyre Academy’s Higher and Advanced IT apprenticeship programmes have achieved recognition as Tech Industry Gold accredited programmes.

With Tech Industry Gold apprenticeship programmes, you can be confident in both the quality of the training and in the focus on your apprentice becoming productive as quickly as possible.

Watch this video and find out how Tech Industry Gold apprenticeships can support your business’ growth.

“Where a training provider’s programme has been accredited as Tech Industry Gold, employers can be confident that the programme delivered is of an outstanding quality and has been approved by IT and Digital Sector employers.”

Derrin Kent   |   August 27th, 2014, 11:13 am

Short-listed for the Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards 2014


Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards 2014

Hannah and Luke – Nominees for the Worcestershire Higher Apprentice Award 214

Two apprentices, Hannah Astbury-Jones and Luke Carrier, currently working towards their Higher Apprenticeship with TDM Wyre Academy have been short-listed for the 1st Worcestershire Annual Apprenticeship Awards. The standard of nominations for the awards has been extremely high and organisers have said “It has proved a real insight into the work around apprenticeships that is happening in Worcestershire.”

Hannah Astbury-Jones, is a Higher Implementation and Support Apprentice at Sanctuary Group in Worcester and said: “My apprenticeship has turned a great passion of mine into my career, I cannot wait to advance even more into my chosen industry and continue to help Sanctuary Group’s IS department develop and grow.”

Luke Carrier, is a Higher Software Developer Apprentice at TDM Open Source Software Services located in Bewdley. Luke said: “I have been developing codeline in my bedroom since I was 12. When I discovered that there was an IT Software Development house in Bewdley – TDM Open Source Software Services – who were able to offer me an apprenticeship, I couldn’t resist the opportunity! I started as a level 2 ICT Professional Apprentice, working with experienced developers, not only in my own office but in an international community.”

The TDM Wyre Academy team are thrilled that Worcestershire County Council and the awards organisers have recognised the dedication and outstanding contributions that Hannah and Luke are making in their Apprenticeships and wish them both all the best in the finals.

The awards, to be hosted by Nick Hewer for the BBC’s The Apprentice, will be taking place on 27th November 2014 at the Tree Tops Pavilion inside the West Midlands Safari Park from 6:30pm until late.

Further information about the Awards event and to book your places click here.


Derrin Kent   |   June 11th, 2014, 3:33 pm

Higher Apprenticeships Fund for Worcestershire

Higher Apprenticeships Grant for Worcestershire Busineses

Higher Apprenticeships Fund







Training, up-skilling and re-skilling can play an important role in the success of your business. Unfortunately, not all businesses can afford to invest in training programmes, and business owners often find the available training is too unspecific and not appropriate to the individual needs of their business.

TDM Wyre Academy are working with Worcestershire County Council to help businesses in Worcestershire access funding for accredited Level 4 qualifications that meet the needs of employers.

Whether you are looking to recruit a new apprentice into your business or up-skill/re-skill existing members of your IT team, the Higher Apprenticeship programme can be tailored to suit your requirements.

TDM Wyre Academy offer Tech Industry Gold apprenticeship programmes in Software & Systems Development and Information Security that are delivered through:

  • Bespoke individual structured learning & development plans
  • Monthly engagements from a sector-professional Learning Coach
  • ePortfolio building against a rigorous & “stretchy” framework of competencies (Tech Industry Gold / National Occupational Standards)
  • Seminars, applied reading, online learning, tasks and genuine project management
  • IT Industry Certifications

The outcomes that benefit both employers and employees include development in:

  • Experience & Skills
  • Understanding & Knowledge
  • Effectiveness & Professionalism

Typical IT roles that are suitable for the Higher Apprenticeship programmes include:

  • Software & Systems Developer (e.g. a champion for a new software or IT strategy: manager, systems admin/technician, programmer, software administrator or web designer)
  • Information Security Professional  (e.g. an existing IT technician, IT network engineer or an Information Assurance Manager who wants to build their InfoSec knowledge, understanding & skills)

Employers can access a £3000 grant to cover the training cost of a Higher Apprentice on approved programmes (up to 2 Higher Apprentices per company – so a maximum of £6000 for training costs per company).

Further information about the grant is available at the Higher Apprenticeship Fund Event on 26th June 12:00 – 14:00 at Six Ways Rugby Club, to book your place click here.


Derrin Kent   |   June 3rd, 2014, 7:30 am

TDM Wyre Academy to offer Tech Industry Gold apprenticeships

Tech Industry Gold Logo

TDM Wyre Academy is delighted to announce that it will be licensed to offer Tech Industry Gold apprenticeships, the employer-designed apprenticeship programmes that equip young people with the skills for a career in technology.

Tech Industry Gold is a new accreditation, designed to point employers and prospective apprentices to programmes that deliver top quality learning and development. The course standards have been set by employers, and created to ensure that participants develop the blend of technical, business and interpersonal skills that are much in demand in the workplace. Organisations across the tech sector have laid down the programmes, facilitated by e-skills UK, the employer body for technology skills.

This provides employer validation of TDM’s IT Professional Apprenticeship programmes including Software & Systems Development and IT Technician.

Tech Industry Gold programmes also include access to online services for employers, including advice and guidance on delivering the programmes, plus networking and up-to-date learning resources from industry leaders.

During the accreditation process of TDM’s apprenticeships, the assessors noted the following strengths:

  • “Learners benefit from high expectations, engagement, care, support and motivation from their assessor/trainer profession and managers.”

  • “Learners develop very good personal, social and employability skills.”

  • “Leaders and managers demonstrate an ambitious vision, have high expectations for what all learners can achieve, and attain high standards of quality and performance.”

  • “All training advisers are very occupationally experienced, are current practitioners and have a range of teaching qualifications.”

“Tech Industry Gold programmes are a great addition to our offering,” says Derrin Kent of TDM Wyre Academy. “The fact that the course standards are set by the industry means that prospective apprentices can be confident that what they are learning is really relevant to the workplace, and their employers can be sure that their new team members will become productive fast. The additional support, like networking and resources, is an important bonus: it means that apprentices in smaller organisations will have an experience similar to that to big corporates, and will develop the kind of industry awareness that will stand them in good stead in their careers. “


Derrin Kent   |   April 30th, 2013, 4:30 pm

MaharaUK 13 – Coming Soon to Birmingham

The MaharaUK conference presents the perfect opportunity to communicate, collaborate and innovate with the global Mahara community.

Learning Technologists, Developers, Administrator, Educators and Enthusiasts will have an opportunity to explore developments of Mahara at the MaharaUK 13 Conference, the only UK conference dedicated entirely to the development and cutting-edge ideas surrounding use of Mahara in education and work-based learning.

 Mahara is an open source ePortfolio software application and has an active worldwide developer and practitioner community. Annually, the Mahara community gather for the UK conference. Feedback from previous years indicated that the conference should be extend to a two-day programme allowing for additional time for networking and workshop sessions.

 The MaharaUK 5th annual conference is organised by TDM & Catalyst and this year takes place at the Custard Factory, Birmingham, West Midlands, July 4  through July 5. The conference features dynamic speakers, exhibitors and events designed to provide Mahara technologists, developers, educators, administrators and ePortfolio enthusiasts with an unparalleled opportunity to explore, learn and network.

 This year’s schedule will feature 2 concurrent conference sessions on day one, covering themes such as: implementation, current and emerging technologies, digital content, innovative learning technologies, distance learning, and social networking. In addition, delegates have the opportunity on the second day to attend development workshops and training seminars for in-depth Mahara exploration and skill development. Developers will be able to work alongside one another to reflect on and respond to the needs of the Mahara community in hack fest sessions.

 Register for MaharaUK 13 and get more information by visiting


Mahara UK 2013 Conference  Call for  Papers

Following feedback from 2012 delegates, the Mahara UK conference will for the first time extend to a 2-day programme with streamed presentations on Day 1 and workshops and training sessions on Day 2.

If you are interested in presenting or running a workshop or training session, please register on this site, enrol yourself in the Submissions course and submit your presentation proposal.

Submissions close 21st May 2013.

Mahara UK 2013 Conference Sponsorship & Exhibitor Opportunities

Why become a Sponsor?

Mahara is one of the leading Open Source ePortfolio systems in the world. Since it’s initial release, Mahara has been embraced and adopted internationally and the project has a supportive and responsive, ever growing online Community. The Mahara UK 2013 Conference will be the perfect place to reach out and engage with this growing community.

Conference delegates will be attending from a wide range of industry and education backgrounds. Amongst teachers, administrators, developers and HR and training practitioners, we expect the attendance of a number of high level decision-makers, providing you with an opportunity to network and potentially establish new and profitable partnerships.

For more info visit:


Derrin Kent   |   January 28th, 2013, 5:14 pm

NEW – Totara LMS For Apprenticeships Webinar

Want to see how Totara LMS for Apprenticeships can help employers deliver
government-funded work-based apprenticeship programmes?


This free webinar, sponsored by Totara Learning Solutions, will help you:

1. Gain an understanding of Totara LMS and Mahara.

2. Find out about the key features and benefits of the Totara LMS for Apprenticeships package of services.

3. Learn how you can deliver apprenticeships more efficiently with TDM’s new codeline functionalities:
- Mahara integration: use Mahara content blocks as evidence items to satisfy QCF criteria and outcomes.
- QCF Harvester: Import Ofqual frameworks with a single click
- Evidence Tab: Allow an Assessor to upload evidence for a learning plan.
- Progress Tracker: Learners, assessors and verifiers can visually track learner progress towards a competencies-based qualification
- and much much more.

This session will highlight current funding opportunities in this space and will provide ample opportunity for questions and answers.

Click here to register