Date of release: Friday, July 28, 2017

An entire class of Ford Higher Apprentices have gained first-class degrees in engineering at the University of Greenwich.

The 14 students began studying at the university's School of Engineering four years ago and collect their awards yesterday (Wednesday 26 July) at the Medway Campus graduation ceremony.

Greenwich delivers part-time programmes which are designed to help students who have a day job. This is one of the key factors in this groups' success, as graduate Nicholas Albrow, 22, explains.

He says: "Combining the university work with our day jobs was hard but our lecturers were very understanding and allowed some flexibility.

"This was a great help, especially in the final year when we moved from one day a week of study to two days. The work at Ford got more intense by then as we were more experienced so were given more responsibility. I'm now working full-time at Ford's Dagenham diesel centre and couldn't be happier.

"When I was looking at apprenticeships, the opportunity to study for a degree swung it, as a lot of apprenticeships don't offer that. So coming to Greenwich was the obvious decision."

The students did a three-year foundation degree in mechanical engineering before "topping up" with a B Eng Hons mechanical engineering technology degree.

Dr Stuart Ashenden, Faculty Operating Officer for Engineering & Science, adds "These students have been a wonderful cohort and are proof of what a good programme this is. They are dedicated, focused and take their work seriously.

"Juggling full-time jobs with study and their own lives is a lot to take on but this group is a prime example of what we do well at Greenwich. Everyone is very proud of them because they have put so much work in to achieve these superb results."

Alison Calnan, Ford's HR Manager in Skills and Apprenticeships, adds: "We are delighted that our apprentices have graduated with such great results. We are really proud of their achievements and look forward to seeing their careers with Ford go from strength-to-strength.

"Ford has around 60 Higher/Degree apprentices completing programmes within engineering, IT and finance functions in the UK. All of these programmes combine practical working with study so students gain valuable work experience on top of their qualifications, and earn while they learn."

For more on studying engineering at the University of Greenwich:

Pictured (left to right): Amy Austin, Danielle Walker, Matthew Blake, Nicholas Albrow, Stuart Ashenden, Johnathan Shapland, Sam Harris, Kristian Smith, Joseph Bloomfield, Jamie Worrall, Alan Walter, Fergus Vesey, Zachary Corcoran, Matthew Mooney, Darren Edwards.

Story by Public Relations