We have been chosen as one of a select group of UK universities to receive funding to support the development of thousands of new degree apprenticeships, beginning in 2017. The University of Sunderland is one of only eighteen universities to receive a share of up to £250k in a £4.5m Government pot, to develop a range of programmes that will provide much needed skills for business and industry.
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.
Working in partnership with leading employers, degree apprenticeship providers will offer 5,200 new opportunities for apprentices and their employers. These new opportunities will be funded through the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy, which comes into effect in April 2017.
Designed by employers, universities and professional bodies, degree apprenticeships deliver high end skills and offer a tailored alternative to a traditional degree course. Bringing together university study with paid work, degree apprentices spend part of their time at university and part with their employer. New degree apprenticeships are set to open the door to hundreds of career opportunities.
Universities and colleges across England have been awarded the £4.5m to develop new degree apprenticeships for students starting in September 2017.
The University of Sunderland, which already offers a degree apprenticeship in BSc Digital and Technology Solutions, will offer programmes in areas such as health care science, nursing, paramedic, cyber security, computing, and chartered management, with further programmes expected to be developed during 2017.
The University has been in detailed discussion for months with a range of North East employers to ensure its programmes fit exactly with their business needs. The University’s work in this area builds on the support already provided for business and industry in the region – be it graduate intern support, knowledge transfer partnerships, research or use of its facilities.
Former Managing Director of Accenture, Bob Paton, who helped set up the University of Sunderland’s first Degree Apprenticeship, BSc Digital and Technology Solutions, said of Sunderland’s approach to collaborating with business: “The North East will be more successful the more young people we have in jobs. For that to happen we need training, education and skill sets that match our economy. There is a big responsibility for training providers to talk to employers to find out exactly what is needed. The University of Sunderland is excellent at that.
“They do a great job in reaching out to employers, who don’t want a one size fits all but something that matches their specific requirement. The University molded a course that was perfect for Accenture, and I know they have for other employers.
“The University of Sunderland has really grasped apprenticeships and is making a real difference. Not all universities are doing that.”
University of Sunderland Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor John MacIntyre, said: “Being one of the eighteen projects to receive funding in this first round of programme development will allow us to continue to collaborate with industry and ensure there are highly qualified individuals with high-level qualifications and on the job experience, who meet regional business needs and requirements and have opportunities for exciting and challenging careers.”
What are degree apprenticeships?
A degree apprenticeship is a real job where the employer invests in training and the employee receives a first degree during the course of the apprenticeship. Apprentices work for 30 hours a week.
Learning fits around that work commitment and requires flexible learning modes like day or block release, distance or blended learning.
What is the Apprenticeship Levy?
To fund the increase in apprenticeships, the Government is introducing an apprenticeship levy from April 2017.
The levy will amount to a 0.5 per cent tax on the wage bill for employers whose salary costs are £3m or more each year.
It should generate approximately £3 billion a year and levied funds can only be spent on an approved apprenticeship.
For more information on degree apprenticeships go to