UK Universities secure £4.5 million fund to create new Degree Apprenticeship opportunities

UK Universities secure £4.5 million fund to create new Degree Apprenticeship opportunities

18 universities across the UK are celebrating securing a share of a £4.5 million development fund to create thousands of new degree apprenticeships.

There are currently only around 1000 degree apprenticeships in the UK, but the Government has pledged to increase the number of apprenticeships to 3 million by 2020.

UWE Bristol was one of the 18 selected to spearhead the scheme; its Assistant Vice-Chancellor Dr John Lanham explained UWE’s £350k share of the fund would be used to “expand our portfolio of degree apprenticeships we will be partnering with FE colleges across the region to co-develop and deliver a range of exciting programmes. The HEFCE funding will support the initial development work and will lay the foundations on which we will build a comprehensive portfolio of Degree Apprenticeships in the next two to three years.”

In total, 70 bids were submitted for the fund, proving that Universities and Colleges have a real appetite to get behind Degree Apprenticeships.

The Degree Apprenticeship programmes enable apprentices to combine employment with education offering an accelerated route to professional accreditation.

UWE Bristol will be partnering with local colleges (Weston College, City of Bristol College, Gloucestershire College, and Bridgwater College) to target skill shortages in the South West.


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In particular UWE Bristol will be looking at a shortage of Engineers in the fields of embedded and wireless systems, construction, digital and technology, aerospace and computer engineering, and aerospace. 

Dr Lanham continued; “One programme in the pilot project working with G E Aviation in Cheltenham will result in a Master’s Level Apprenticeship programme that has been designed to upskill their graduate engineers. We believe that this masters apprenticeship is amongst the first of its kind nationally. The plan builds on UWE Bristol’s stated strategic ambitions to deliver an excellent learning experience rooted in the real world through connections and networks in business and industry.”

Robert Halfon, Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships, stated that the governmental believes that “apprenticeships work” and “that’s why we’ve launched degree apprenticeships that give people a real chance to earn while you learn to put you on the fast-track to a top career”. He went on to explain that the fund “will allow universities and colleges to work with top employers to design high-quality degree apprenticeships that give people a ladder of opportunity, more choice and help shape Britain to become an apprentice nation.”

The new schemes supported by the fund will be starting in September 2017.

Which Universities were funded?

In total the scheme will be supporting 18 Universities; working across a range of industries.

The sectors funded are also useful in understanding what the government see as the current key weaknesses in the UK skill base. While Engineering features heavily, what is interesting is that 5 out of 18 Universities are focusing on the relatively new sector of cyber security.

Birmingham City University

Surveying and construction, engineering, chartered management, digital and technology, accounting and business, insurance and risk, financial fraud investigation, radiography/radiotherapy, marketing, and human resource management

Buckinghamshire New University, with Aylesbury College

Early years, learning and teaching, digital and technology, business, legal, accountancy and finance, banking and financial services, project management, and product design and development.

the University of Cumbria, with University of Chester, Liverpool John Moores University, University of Wolverhampton, Buckinghamshire New University, University of Central Lancashire, Open University, Staffordshire University, Plymouth University, and London Metropolitan University

Police constables

University of Derby

Site management, digital and technology, cyber security, aerospace engineering, chartered management, and nursing

University of Gloucestershire

Cybersecurity, product design and development, internet of things and cyber engineering, and nursing

The University of Greenwich, with Mid Kent College

Construction, engineering, digital and technology, biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences, nursing, paramedic science, community sport, logistics, and chartered surveying

Leeds Trinity University, with University of Leeds

Supply chain management, and chartered management with specialists in healthcare, education, and SMEs

The University of Lincoln, with Sheffield Hallam University

Food manufacturing, including technical professional, operations management, and food engineering

Liverpool John Moores University

Building services engineering, construction management, building surveying, real estate management, quantity surveying, engineering, automation and control, engineering, policing, digital and technology, and outside broadcasting

London South Bank University, with College of North East London, Lambeth College, Lewisham and Southwark Colleges, Barnet and Southgate College, and Barking and Dagenham College

Engineering, building services, site management, electrical and electronic, and chartered management

Northumbria University

Site management, construction quantity surveyor, building services, chartered management, and digital and technology including business analyst, data analyst, software engineering, and cyber security

Nottingham Trent University

Chartered management and electronic systems design and development

University of Salford

Construction, leadership and management, and control/technical support engineering

The University of Sheffield, with Sheffield Hallam University

Maintenance engineering and construction manufacturing

Sheffield Hallam University, with Barnsley College, Sheffield College, Chesterfield College, Rotherham and North Notts Colleges, Dearne Valley College, Doncaster College, and Northern College

Chartered management, digital and technology, construction, quantity surveying, health science practitioner, facilities management, cyber security, software engineering, railway engineering, advanced manufacturing, ultrasound, paramedic practice, occupational therapy, and physiotherapy

University of Sunderland

Health care science, nursing, paramedic, cybersecurity, computing, and chartered management

The University of the West of England, with Weston College, City of Bristol College, Gloucestershire College, and Bridgwater College

Embedded and wireless systems, quantity surveying, construction, building services engineering, real estate, leadership and management, digital and technology, aerospace and computer engineering, and aerospace

The University of Wolverhampton, with Walsall College, City of Wolverhampton College, and Birmingham Metropolitan College

Solicitor, legal executive, aerospace, automotive design, development and manufacturing, digital and technology, chartered management, broadcast production, and nursing associate

Source: HEFCE

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