Weston College Group is part of a pioneering partnership project which is developing a range of new degree-level apprenticeships.
The University of the West of England Bristol has secured £350,000 from a newly-created fund from the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) to develop degree apprenticeships for introduction in September 2017.
The UWE Bristol-led bid was one of 18 universities selected from nearly 70 bids to spearhead the development of degree apprenticeships.
For its part, Weston College – through its recently re-branded University Centre Weston (UCW) is developing a Degree Apprenticeship in Digital and Technology Solutions, offering participants the opportunity to combine full-time paid employment with studying towards a BSc Honours Degree.
Study will be provided through a combination of work-based learning, day release, technology-enabled learning and employment-related projects, giving apprentices flexibility to fit learning around their jobs.
Dr Paul Phillips OBE, Principal and Chief Executive of Weston College Group, said: “We’re delighted to be a key partner in this pioneering project which will develop a range of opportunities that respond to key regional skills shortages.
“The Weston College Group is committed to working collaboratively with partner agencies and organisations to support the economic regeneration of the region, and this project will play a key part in that.
“The multi-million pound HEFCE development fund aims to create thousands of new degree-level apprenticeships and we’re excited to be in on this from the start.”
Dr John Lanham, Assistant Vice-Chancellor, who is leading the initiative at UWE Bristol said: “We have a long and rich heritage of running industry/employer-based education projects.
“As we expand our portfolio of degree apprenticeships, we will be partnering with FE colleges across the region, including Weston College, to co-develop and deliver a range of exciting programmes.
“This HEFCE funding will support the initial development work, and will lay the foundations on which we will build a comprehensive portfolio of degree-level apprenticeships in the next two-to-three years.”
The HEFCE fund has awarded a total of £4.5 million to develop new degree apprenticeships for students starting in September 2017.
Skills and Apprenticeships Minister Robert Halfon said: “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 to design high-quality degree apprenticeships that give people a ladder of opportunity, more choice and help shape Britain to become an apprentice nation.”