Harper Adams University wins funding for degree apprenticeships
A series of degree apprenticeship programmes will be launched at a Shropshire's Harper Adams University, thanks to a share of £4.9 million in funding announced by the Higher Education Funding Council England.
The award to the university, near Newport, will allow apprentices to train in engineering competence, food and drink engineering and food science and technology.
The new apprenticeship opportunities are expected to be available from September next year.
Designed by employers, higher education providers and professional bodies, degree apprenticeships bring together higher education study with paid work.
They enable the development of high-level skills, by combining a degree and a career.
Degree apprentices are employed for a minimum of 30 hours a week and earn a degree part time alongside their full-time employment.
Andy Jones, director of learning and teaching at Harper Adams, welcomed the announcement.
He said: “Harper Adams University is delighted to have been awarded this funding to further develop our degree apprenticeships portfolio.
"The funds will enable us to strengthen links with industry while providing participants with cutting edge training and technical education.”
Clare Keegan is overseeing the development of degree apprenticeship at Harper Adams University.
She said: “We are already close to launching a degree apprenticeship programme for chartered surveyors, and look forward to also now being able to work with employers to develop the food science, food engineering and wider engineering programmes.
“Industry input into the structure and content of the programmes will be vital, so I would welcome discussions with business in the sectors relevant to these new degree apprenticeship streams."
Madeleine Atkins, chief executive for Higher Education Funding Council England, added: “We commend the universities and colleges which successfully competed for funding in this second phase of the degree apprenticeship development fund.
"They will now work with employers to develop new degree apprenticeship provision across a variety of sectors.
"This will help more people to access higher education, and to follow their chosen career, while closing the skills gaps in the economy.”
Degree apprenticeships are a relatively new, and growing, development for vocational higher education in England.
Apprentices are employed on a full-time basis for between one and six years, working at least 30 hours every week and enjoying blocks of practical on-the-job training.
Simultaneously, they study a paid-for Bachelors or Masters degree at a partner university, using whichever flexible study method suits the employer’s needs – such as distance learning, blended learning or block mode learning.