As we approach the end of another extraordinary year, we want to take a moment to sit back and reflect on the current and future digital landscape, as well as the incredible journey we’ve been on with our employers, our apprentices, and our team.
Against all odds, 2023 has been the best year in the history of Baltic Apprenticeships. Our achievements have been a testament to our dedication and hard work, but we would not be where we are today without your support. Together, in 2023, we have changed the lives of 1596 apprentices across England, we received our Outstanding Ofsted grade, and we were appointed as an Expert training provider by the DfE 🎉
In the past twelve months, the digital landscape has witnessed huge advancements that have not only transformed industries but completely changed the way we interact with technology, and according to trends and predictions, we have more innovation to look forward to in 2024…
Way back in 2020, the UK introduced their National Data Strategy, which identified data as the driving force of the world’s modern economies.
New research (2023) has shown there has been a 376% rise in data training since 2019, and that business intelligence, data science, and basic data literacy skills were three of the top five fastest-growing skills across the UK.
This year, the needs of the wider industry were made clear. Business professionals, from Finance Assistants to Marketing Managers, require data skills to improve their efficiency. We listened to these advancements and honed in on the skills our employers need the most, repackaging our Level 3 Junior Data Analyst programme and welcoming Level 3 Data Essentials.
- 106 apprentices completed a Data programme with Baltic
- 89% of those apprentices received a Distinction or Merit
- We recognised the importance of building data skills within each of our departments and enrolled 10 of our team on our Data Essentials programme
In its State of Data Literacy 2023 report, Datacamp identified that 67% of data and business leaders believe that organisations that invest in data upskilling are more likely to be recession-proof, but only around 5% of organisations classify themselves as fully data literate.
We predict that in 2024, business strategies will be dominated by data upskilling, automation, and AI. Both Business Professionals and Data Analysts will prioritise high-value tasks, rather than wasting time on tedious and time-consuming tasks that AI functionalities can automate.
The marketing landscape is continuously changing, with new strategies, social media platforms, and AI features being introduced regularly – it is hard to keep up.
2023 was the year of short-form video content, influencer marketing, and CGI & AI-created content. Social media became a customer service outlet, with 1 in 5 Gen Z’s contacting a brand on social media for a customer service query in 2023, and TikTok became Google’s newest competitor, as Gen Z adopted the algorithm, previously known for its viral dance videos, to search for recipes, tutorials, and recommendations.
- 250 apprentices completed a Marketing programme with Baltic
- 56% of those apprentices received a Distinction or Merit
Forbes predicts that hyper-personalisation will dominate marketing campaigns across 2024. The integration of AI with marketing will transform the way companies personalise customer experiences, alongside advancements in machine learning. Sales and marketing teams will utilise their available data more efficiently to produce more personalised recommendations and content.
After the software boom during the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2021, the European Software Skills Alliance (ESSA) identified drastic knowledge and skills gaps across the software industry.
This year, Baltic identified a serious issue in the Software landscape, as entry-level roles are drastically disappearing – with 60% of entry-level software roles requiring three or more years of relevant software experience. After analysing the wider software jobs market and software apprenticeship starts across the last five years, we set out on a mission to increase entry-level Software starts and we look forward to continuing this in the new year.
- 153 apprentices completed a Software programme with Baltic
- 42% of those apprentices received a Distinction or Merit
- We were the #1 provider for Level 3 Junior Software Developer apprenticeship starts across England… For the 3rd year in a row!
In 2024, with the introduction of GDPR, we believe businesses will continue to prioritise data privacy and cybersecurity, which will transform the software landscape. In its Predictions 2024: Enterprise Software 2023 report, Forrester stated that the industry will experience enhanced innovation and change throughout 2024.
A major trend in the UK software market is the shift towards Software as a Service (SaaS) models, and it is estimated that up to 75% of software clients will use SaaS in 2024. According to Forrester, generative AI is set to modernise 90% of firms in the new year, with generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT, Jasper.AI, and Google Bard allowing developers to focus more time on high-priority tasks.
In 2021, Statista identified the ICT market as one of the largest industries in the world. The industry experienced a poor year for overall technology investment in 2022, but 2023 has welcomed a wave of enthusiasm for technology’s potential impact on businesses and wider society.
This year, we have witnessed the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, as no-code AI has enabled businesses to present more intelligent solutions. We have also witnessed the rise of Cloud services which offer businesses cost-efficiency and vast scalability.
Despite retiring our Level 3 Network Technician apprenticeship, we recognised the importance of the key aspects of the programme, such as Cloud Virtualisation and Network Architecture. We integrated these concepts into our Level 3 IT Support Technician programme to create more well-rounded IT professionals.
- 379 apprentices completed an IT programme with Baltic
- 65% of those apprentices received a Distinction or Merit
Silicon Republic identified their top 5 IT trends to watch out for in 2024 including tighter budgets due to economic environments, and a surge in modernisation methods as IT companies will shift from “manual processes and legacy tech” to “modern end-user computing.” Just as AI advancements have dominated 2023, it predicts AI will continue to dominate the development of ICT technology – with generative AI rumoured to be integrated more into security tools.
We can’t wait to see what advancements the next twelve months bring to the digital landscape. Thank you for all your support over 2023, and good luck for 2024!
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 🎅🏼✨