Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week

February 8th, 2021

Almost 200 apprentices and more than 30 partner employers are celebrating National Apprenticeship Week at the University this week.

The 14th annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships, taking place across England, showcases the impact that apprenticeships can have on individuals, communities, local businesses and regional economies.

The University of Nottingham offers a range of specialist degree apprenticeship programmes which help develop future talent, diversify the student experience, and widen participation.

The theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2021 is “Build the Future,” encouraging employers, colleges and universities to consider how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge they need for a rewarding career, and how employers can train, retain, and achieve with apprenticeships.

To mark the week, the University’s Professional and Work-based Learning team has published a dedicated set of resources on Degree Apprenticeships to inform and support colleagues who wish to establish a degree apprenticeship programme in their area.

Staff are also invited to find out more about how they and their team members can benefit from a degree apprenticeship while still working at the University. Colleagues and prospective employers can register for  a series of webinars taking place across the week examining apprenticeships in areas as diverse as bioinformatics, architecture, chemistry and technical roles.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West said:

“Degree apprenticeships at Nottingham combine the very best of our academic and technical education and provide an innovative platform for our students and staff to thrive, whether they are starting out on their chosen career, extending their skills in their current profession or changing career paths.

“I am delighted that the University has doubled the numbers of apprentices studying with us in 2020/21 which, during a year challenged by Covid-19, is testament to the quality of our programmes and the enthusiasm of our apprentices and teaching staff.

“Building on our pioneering approach in introducing the country’s first Masters-level degree apprenticeship for veterinary surgeons and an online programme for bioinformatics, this September the University will launch further degree apprenticeship programmes in Data Science and Electro-mechanical Engineering.

“I would invite all colleagues to join in the celebrations this week and find out more about what degree apprenticeships can offer for students in their subject areas, for teaching staff in the diversification of their programme portfolio, and for employers in developing their workforces.”

National Apprenticeship week is the natural time to announce that the University has recently appointed our 2nd Academic Director of Degree Apprenticeships: Dr. Emma Weston. Emma succeeds Professor Matt Dickinson who played a vital role in the early development of this work. Emma is Associate Professor of Food Sciences in the School of Biosciences. Emma brings significant industry experience to the role, having worked in various technical management roles, alongside expertise in professional skills development. Emma will oversee the Quality Assurance of our apprenticeship programmes, and ensure that all apprentices are supported to achieve their potential.

To mark National Apprenticeship Week, the University is also highlighting a number of apprenticeship success stories. You can read about apprentice and staff member Dr Sarah Storr’s experience of the Bioinformatics Scientist (MRes) Degree Apprenticeship here. You can also find out more about how partner employer Johnson Matthey and their apprentices are benefitting from the Laboratory Science Degree Apprenticeship here.

The University launched its degree apprenticeship offer in 2018 with its Advanced Clinical Practitioner Degree Apprenticeship. Programmes offering work-based training in a range of industries soon followed with the University’s degree apprenticeships offer expanding to include architecture, laboratory science and senior leadership. In January 2020, the University was able to extend its degree apprenticeship offer to support the regional economy where eligible small businesses can benefit from 95% government co-investment in training their apprentices.

To find out more about degree apprenticeships at the University  visit nottingham.ac.uk/degree-apprenticeships or contact the Employer Engagement Team with any questions.

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