According to ONS head of apprenticeships Alison Adams, the organisation has already submitted the idea to the Institute for Apprenticeships (IFA) – the body that sets relevant standards and advises government on funding – and opened talks with employers.
Adams said: "Building data science skills is a strategic priority for us and so we are going to be working hard with industry to submit our design to the IFA by the end of September 2017. Our aim is to make this Level 6 data scientist apprenticeship available for learning providers to advertise in 2018."
Initial expectations are that the course will take three or four years and provide a clear career pathway in to a number of private and public sector professional roles.
"Employers will benefit from its potential to attract and build future talent, while apprentices on the course will benefit from on the job training, classroom or distance based learning and a fulfilling career," Adams said.
In December 2016 the UK’s first data analytics apprentices started work at the ONS offices in Newport. Out of over 130 applications, eight apprentices joined the programme which gives them access to cutting edge tools and technologies to provide statistics and insights to help shape policy across the UK.