UWE Bristol receives £350k to develop new Degree Apprenticeship opportunities

Issue date: 10 November 2016

UWE Bristol is one of 18 universities selected to spearhead this development announced by HEFCE today that aims to create thousands of new degree apprenticeships through the new multi-million pound development fund. Almost 70 bids were submitted for the fund, showing the ambition and appetite from the higher education sector to get behind degree apprenticeships.

Dr John Lanham, Assistant Vice-Chancellor, is leading this initiative at UWE Bristol, he said “UWE Bristol has a long and rich heritage of running industry/employer based education projects. As we 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.

“A key feature of Professional Degree Apprenticeship programmes is that they enable apprentices to combine education with employment and provide an accelerated route to professional accreditation upon completing the apprenticeship and degree programme.”

UWE Bristol will be working with Weston College, the City of Bristol College, Bridgwater & Taunton College and Gloucestershire College and many industry and business partners to develop a range of opportunities that respond to key regional skills shortages.

Dr Lanham continues, “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 programme 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.”

The new degree apprenticeships are set to open the door to top careers in everything from nursing to construction and food manufacturing, thanks to the multi-million pound fund.

The HEFCE fund has awarded a total of £4.5 million to develop the new degree apprenticeships for students starting in September 2017. Working in partnership with leading employers, the universities and colleges will offer 5,200 new opportunities for apprentices and their employers in preparation for the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in April 2017.

Skills and Apprenticeships Minister Robert Halfon said, “Apprenticeships work, that's why we've launched degree apprenticeships that give people a real chance to earn while you learn putting you on the fast-track to a top career.

“This multi-million pound 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.”

Madeleine Atkins, HEFCE Chief Executive, said, “The development of degree apprenticeships will provide more people with the chance to study in higher education and work at the same time, and in doing so to fulfil their educational and career ambitions.”

The Government funding has been awarded by HEFCE to projects focused on boosting the number of degree apprenticeships available. It forms a key part of the drive to strengthen the reputation of on-the-job training by raising standards and creating more high-quality opportunities for young people and adults from all backgrounds.

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