Friday, November 11, 2016

News: New degree apprenticeships to be delivered in Rotherham

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New degree apprenticeships, designed by employers, are set to be delivered in Rotherham and across the Sheffield city region after institutions secured a slice of Government funding.

Designed by employers, universities and professional bodies, degree apprenticeships deliver high-tech and high-level skills and offer an 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.

18 successful projects will share £4.5m from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to develop 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.

One project will see the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University working together for the first time in engineering with 90 apprentices set to study for degrees in Integrated, Materials and Rail engineering as well as achieving professional accreditation alongside their employment, with the opportunity to progress to study at Masters level. The curriculum will be developed with employer input, and will use the latest learning technologies to support the students.

The project will use the expertise of the University of Sheffield's highly successful Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) Training Centre, which is based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, and Sheffield Hallam University's multi-disciplinary Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI).

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Professor Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: "Filling the skills gap in engineering is a crucial issue for the UK's economy. Universities have an important part to play in developing this workforce that will play a key element in driving economic growth.

"I am delighted that the University of Sheffield is able to work with HEFCE and Sheffield Hallam University to develop this innovative new degree-level apprenticeship programme that will provide young people with an alternative route to higher education through the highest quality vocational qualifications.

"It is crucial for both young people and for the country that we have diverse opportunities of the very highest quality, endorsed by employers and leading if a student wishes to other opportunities in both education and their careers.

"The fact that a University has a global reputation for the quality of its research and traditional teaching is in no way in contradiction with offering technical opportunities to able young people. This is an area where The University of Sheffield has been pioneering amongst research-led institutions and we are delighted to continue our commitment to genuine access of the highest quality."

Another project will see Sheffield Hallam University, work with Barnsley College, Sheffield College, Chesterfield College, Rotherham and North Notts Colleges, Dearne Valley College, Doncaster College, and Northern College. The focus is on a range of degree apprenticeships, including: chartered management, digital and technology, construction, quantity surveying, health science practitioner, facilities management, cybersecurity, software engineering, railway engineering, advanced manufacturing, ultrasound, paramedic practice, occupational therapy, and physiotherapy.

Hallam University said it will create places for 1,270 new apprentices over three years.

Professor Chris Husbands Vice-Chancellor at Sheffield Hallam University, said: "Universities have a key role to play in driving innovation, economic growth and creating jobs.

"Sheffield Hallam has been a trailblazer in offering higher and degree apprenticeships in collaboration with key industry partners including Nestle and JCB.

"I am delighted the University has been awarded this funding to help us further develop our degree apprenticeship provision and help meet the skills requirements of our regional economy.

"We will work closely with HEFCE and industry partners to respond to this challenge to develop the very highest quality apprenticeships which allow talented young people to take this pioneering route, fully funded by industry."

AMRC Training Centre website

Images: AMRC Training Centre


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