Date of release: Thursday, November 10, 2016

HEFCE and DADF Apprentice programmeNew degree apprenticeships which can open the door to top careers in a variety of industries will be on offer at the University of Greenwich.

A £4.5 million government fund is to be made available to just 18 specially chosen universities and colleges across the UK, including Greenwich. The funding will enable the university to expand its current portfolio of degree apprenticeships from September 2017.

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. In a scheme which brings together study with paid work, the apprentices spend part of their time at university and part with their employer, as they complete a full honours degree.

The new apprenticeships on offer at Greenwich will include those in the areas of Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Science and Health and Social Care, and are expected to suit people embarking on careers in these fields.

Professor Javier Bonet, the university's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise), says: "This exciting development gives young people and adults from all backgrounds the opportunity to fulfil both their educational and career ambitions.

"Greenwich is committed to this type of innovative, employer-led learning. Our apprentices will be able to combine first-rate academic learning and personal support with real-life practical skills. We aim to play our part in ensuring that the UK has the talented, creative and highly skilled workforce that it will need in the future."

The university will also be investing its own funding into the project, and in time expects to deliver degree apprenticeships across all four of its faculties, spanning three campuses.

The national scheme will see more than 5,200 opportunities for apprentices being created. The successful projects to be awarded funding from HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England), in the first round of a two-year programme, were chosen from 70 institutions which made bids.

Skills and Apprenticeships Minister Robert Halfon says: "Apprenticeships work - that's why we've launched degree apprenticeships that give people a real chance to earn while you learn putting you on the fast-track to a top career.

"This multi-million pound fund will allow universities and colleges to work with top employers. Together, they will design high quality degree apprenticeships that give people a ladder of opportunity, more choice and help shape Britain to become an apprentice nation."

Provisional figures released in October show an increase in the numbers of people starting higher and degree apprenticeships. More than 27,000 higher and degree apprenticeships were started in the 2015-16 academic year.

The Degree Apprenticeship Development Fund was established by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, and continued by the Department for Education. More information is available here: www.hefce.ac.uk/kess/apprentice

For more on degree apprenticeships at the University of Greenwich: https://www.gre.ac.uk/articles/cross-faculty/apprenticeships or contact enterprise@gre.ac.uk.

Story by Public Relations