City uni scoops £250,000 for degree apprenticeships

Students Scott Heslop, Ryan Garrett, Emily Allan, Lucy Sarginson, James Brown and Kyle Heron on the apprenticeship degree with Dr Alastair Lions, Professor of Computer Sciences and Caron Brown, staff member from Computing and Engineering at Sunderland University Picture: DAVID WOOD
Students Scott Heslop, Ryan Garrett, Emily Allan, Lucy Sarginson, James Brown and Kyle Heron on the apprenticeship degree with Dr Alastair Lions, Professor of Computer Sciences and Caron Brown, staff member from Computing and Engineering at Sunderland University Picture: DAVID WOOD
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Wearside’s university has won funding to provide more degree apprenticeships.

The University of Sunderland is one of a select few chosen to receive funding to support the development of thousands of new degree apprenticeships, beginning in 2017.

We need training, education and skill sets that match our economy

Bob Paton

It will get a £250,000 share of a £4.5million 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 employers, degree apprenticeship providers will offer 5,200 new opportunities for apprentices. These new opportunities will be funded through the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy, which comes into effect in April 2017.

The University of Sunderland, which already offers a degree apprenticeship in BSc Digital and Technology Solutions, will develop 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.

It has been in detailed discussion for months with a range of North East employers to ensure its programmes fit exactly with their business needs.

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.”

Former Managing Director of Accenture, Bob Paton, who helped set up the University of Sunderland’s first degree apprenticeship, said: “The North East will be more successful the more young people we have in jobs.

“For that to happen we need training, education and skillsets 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.”