UWE supports College £1 million win to launch high flying apprenticeships

Issue date: 29 November 2011

UWE Bristol

Local colleges and UWE Bristol have been awarded a grant worth £1.1 million as part of a new scheme to establish Higher Apprenticeships, offering young people and adults a means to gain a higher education qualification whilst in work.

City of Bristol College led the innovative West of England bid to secure the funding by working with local employers, UWE Bristol, and City of Bath, Norton Radstock, Filton and Weston College. The grant will be used to finance projects that aim to create nearly 600 Higher Apprenticeship opportunities by 2015.

Higher Apprenticeships are work-based qualifications that allow students to achieve a degree level qualification whilst working in industry.

The programmes are ideally suited to young people who are seeking alternative routes to full-time higher education, who want to earn whilst they learn, and adults wanting to progress their careers through obtaining higher level skills and qualifications.

Responding to the need to increase the variety of routes available to obtain higher level qualifications and Degrees, the local colleges and UWE Bristol will use the funding to deliver Higher Apprenticeships which meet the needs of individuals and local businesses. Through this experience they will create a model that can be replicated by other regions.

Keith Elliott, Principal of City of Bristol College, comments: “This funding will allow us to provide new opportunities for local people to meet the higher level skills gaps identified by local employers.

“The increase of Higher Apprenticeships in the region will support growth and new jobs in the local economy. The College has already received over thirty letters of support from local employers committing two hundred Higher Apprenticeship places. With the recent youth unemployment figures at an all time high, the Higher Apprenticeship programme will begin to increase working opportunities in the region.”

Professor Steve West, UWE Bristol Vice-Chancellor, comments: “Working in partnership with City of Bristol College and the other colleges to ensure delivery of, and support to, this initiative is a very exciting development.

“This way of working allows students to achieve qualifications of equal value to higher education options, bringing traditional and vocational academic routes together. Through this new partnership, we are opening up opportunities for students to become qualified to Degree level via the Higher Apprenticeship route.”

Colin Skellett, Chairman of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, comments: “We are delighted at the success of the bid which the Local Enterprise Partnership strongly supported. Developing higher level skills is central to our jobs growth agenda, particularly in the sectors which this bid covers. Equally welcome is the partnership which this bid represents between higher education and further education in the Local Enterprise Partnership area; our second successful collaborative bid and an indicator of many more to come.”

For more information on Higher Apprenticeships call 0117 312 5250.

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