Build capability to create and maintain key data infrastructure

Cambridge Spark's Level 4 Data Engineer Apprenticeship equips learners with the technical and leadership skills to support business functions in creating and maintaining data analytics pipelines. Using the Level 4 Data Analyst apprenticeship standard, learners will build the skillset needed to increase the usability of data in their organisation.

Who is this data engineer apprenticeship for?

This apprenticeship offers an upskilling or reskilling opportunity for employees looking to move into a junior data engineering role.

The programme is suitable for existing analysts and other professionals looking to develop skills in Python, SQL, data modelling approaches, software testing, git, CI/CD and DevOps mindset.

Learner Outcomes:

  • Understand the data engineering lifecycle and the role of a data engineer
  • Develop the technical skills to create and maintain data analytics pipelines
  • Understand the fundamentals of data modelling, its best practices and why it is important
  • Effectively work with stakeholders to define and translate business requirements to a data model and data pipeline

Organisation Outcomes:

  • Train new talent and reskill existing employees with one of the most in-demand technical skillsets
  • Develop key internal capabilities to increase the usability of critical datasets in your organisation

Task automation has been the biggest benefit. It’s taking away the manual intervention part as it’s all happening by itself now, producing up-to-date insights at any given moment.”

Saad Abdullah, Data Analyst Apprentice at GSK

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Experts in online delivery

We deliver all of our programmes online, helping our clients offer flexible and inclusive programmes open to all of their staff. We believe the gold standard for online delivery is to offer a mix of experiential learning, coaching, technical mentorship and peer support.

24/7 immediate feedback

EDUKATE.AI is our learning platform designed for data science education which gives learners immediate and personalised feedback on their code.

Fast skills deployment

Learners apply their skills to real datasets from their first day of learning, with assignments on EDUKATE.AI simulating a working industry environment.

Tailored expert curriculum

A modular curriculum developed with leading experts from academia and industry to meet all skills needs in an organisation.

Peer support

Engagement and support from peers through Knowledge Base, our Q&A feature built into EDUKATE.AI.

Easy set up

Our cloud-based platform requires no installation or set-up for our learners, with their content available whenever they need it.


Real time analysis of learner progress and completion at an individual and cohort level allowing us to target support and celebrate success.

The Curriculum

Our curriculum is developed by our leading faculty, composed of data scientists in leading industry positions and academics from some of the top universities in the world. Our curriculum is continuously updated and reiterated to incorporate the latest skills.

We take a modular approach to how we offer our curriculum. The full Level 4 Data Engineer Apprenticeship includes all of the below modules. We also offer curated shorter tracks and can offer a fully tailored pathway based on a skills gap analysis.

Introduction to Python and Pandas

Understand and become familiar with Python syntax, structure and programming concepts.

Programming with Python Pandas

Learn programming in Python and data processing and cleaning with Pandas.

Power BI and Tableau

Gain familiarity with industry-standard tools for creating interactive visualisations and business intelligence capabilities.

Defining Requirements and User-Centric Design

Learn how to capture requirements for data engineering projects that meet business needs.

Data Engineering Concepts
Define data engineering, the role of a data engineer and the types of data maturity in an organisation.
Data Modelling

Understand the fundamentals of data modelling and apply a range of techniques to validate data models against business requirements.

Databases and SQL

Learn how to use SQL techniques to store, query and retrieve structured and unstructured data and interact with databases.

Software Testing

Learn how to test processing functions with unit tests, integration testing and systems tests.

DevOps Foundations

Build familiarity with Git and the combined practices of continuous integration continuous deployment (CI/CD).

Data Privacy, Ethics and Regulations

Learn about key ethical, legal and regulatory issues relating to the use of data.

Elective: Data Visualisation

Learn how to build compelling charts and visualisations to communicate data-driven insights to technical and non-technical audiences, using libraries such as Seaborn and Bokeh.

Elective: Time Series Analysis Foundations

Learn to analyse and model series data with Python, Pandas and Numpy.

Elective: Big Data Systems

Learn to identify big data-related opportunities within an organisation and to leverage the power of distributed computing to extract value and insight at scale.

Elective: Principles of Cloud Computing

Build familiarity with cloud computing infrastructure covering common cloud services, the differences between virtualisation and containerisation and the fundamentals of working with Docker.


What delivery options do you offer?

We tailor our delivery to your workforce needs. This ranges from from independent, immersive elearning supported by EDUKATE.AI through to tailored bootcamps, to our structured apprenticeship programmes. The Level 4 Data Engineer Apprenticeship is available to learners based in England.

Are you able to tailor the programme to the organisation and sector?

Yes. We work with our clients to contextualise our programmes to their organisation and sectors they operate in. We do this through tailored hackathons, bespoke assignments and guest lectures from industry experts. We also work with a range of partners to create bespoke programmes for sector, such as health and journalism.

What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are a long-term training commitment which seek to support people entering the workforce and upskill existing UK-based employees within an organisation, enabling employers to foster a workforce consisting of highly-skilled and highly-engaged talent.

The Cambridge Spark Data Engineer Apprenticeship runs 14 months plus a 3-month end-point assessment and includes a minimum of 6 hours per week off-the-job training, enabling a blended approach between theory and practical-learning.

What is the Apprenticeship Levy?

The UK government introduced the Apprenticeship Levy scheme in April 2017 as a way to drive investment in strengthening the country’s skills base.

All organisations with annual staff costs of over £3m have to pay 0.5% of their salary bill into a ring-fenced apprenticeship levy pot. The money is collected monthly via PAYE and can only be used for training on approved apprenticeship schemes (such as the Level 4 Data Engineer Apprenticeship that we offer). Organisations must forfeit any levy funding left unspent for 24 months or more

What if my organisation doesn't pay into the UK Apprenticeship Levy?

An organisation that doesn't pay into the levy can still qualify for government-funded apprenticeships for their staff. In fact, the UK government will sponsor 95% of the apprenticeship programme, leaving the organisation to invest the remaining 5%, provided that learners meet other eligibility criteria.

What does "off-the-job training" mean?

Off-the-job training is defined as learning undertaken outside of the day-to-day work duties and during the apprentice’s normal working hours.

Our off-the-job training is delivered on a flexible basis and can be carried out at the apprentice’s place of work or home.

The 6 hours per week, minimum, off-the-job training provides learners with the time to focus and develop the required skills, knowledge and behaviours to complete the programme and reach occupational competence.

How much do managers need to be involved?

Managers will need to ensure apprentices achieve their planned off-the-job training hours and work on their project portfolio.

We also encourage managers to have regular one-to-one meetings with apprentices to catch up on how they are progressing and to join the apprentice and their coach for 30 minutes every 3-4 months for a general catch up about the programme.

Enquire now

Fill out the following form and we’ll contact you within one business day to discuss and answer any questions you have about the programme.

We look forward to speaking with you.

Who's benefitted from our data apprenticeships

Read case studies on the impact we have made for our clients.

Delivering data-driven customer solutions at Royal Mail with apprenticeships

Data Analyst Apprentice identifies £30k of savings for GSK

Building AI capability in media and broadcasting with AI apprenticeships

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