Higher and degree apprenticeships at University of Suffolk to boost business and skills in Suffolk

University of Suffolk main building

University of Suffolk main building - Credit: Archant

The University of Suffolk will be offering higher and degree apprenticeships for the first time from June – a move which business leaders say will mark Suffolk as a driving force in skills and leadership.

The university last week found out it had been accepted onto the Register for Approved Training Providers, which will enable it to begin working with businesses and help educate young people in a different environment to academic degrees.

The university is currently in talks with firms – including national companies and smaller businesses – for its first three apprenticeships.

In June, the healthcare assistant practitioner apprenticeship will begin, before the charted management and digital and technology solutions apprenticeships begin in September.

Students will work either three of four days a week with a firm, before spending one or two days at university learning key skills.

Karen Hinton, head of student recruitment and market development at the university, said higher and degree apprenticeships provided an opportunity for people who feel that a dedicated university course is not for them, and gave businesses a chance to recruit and train talented individuals.

“For most students that consistent application of knowledge makes things a bit more accessible,” she said.

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“It’s a really nice way of learning, but we still expect courses like the traditional business management degree to continue to do well.”

While the three courses will be the first the university offers, Mrs Hinton said that more would be available from 2018 as the apprenticeships progressed in areas such as nursing and the police force.

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said: “The University of Suffolk is to be congratulated for this exciting initiative and we’re sure that it will further help bridge the gap between the worlds of education and work.

“Degree-level apprenticeships will help attract more Suffolk businesses to offer places to our young people, will help address the county’s skills gaps at NVQ Level 4 and above and should contribute directly to Suffolk’s growing reputation for innovation and leadership.”

Sue Cook, director for children and young people at Suffolk County Council, said: “The number of jobs requiring a high level of technical and professional skills is rising, especially in science, technology, engineering and mathematics related roles within our key growth sectors.

“Robust, good quality apprenticeships, especially at advanced, higher level and degree level, have a key role in attracting talented young people to these professions.”

To register an interest or to find out more, email the university here or visit the Government’s apprenticeships page for latest opportunities and upcoming courses.

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