Degree Apprenticeships launched.

Posted on 21st March 2016

A breakfast event to launch Degree Apprenticeships was held by the University of Chester, in partnership with Chester Business Club and ILM, the leading provider of leadership and management qualifications in the UK.

Julie Rowlett ILM, Business Manager (North); Chris Matheson, MP for Chester; Lisa Rowe, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Business and Management; Nick Hodson, Chairman Chester Business Club and Professor Clare Schofield, Associate Dean, Faculty of Business and Management.
Julie Rowlett ILM, Business Manager (North); Chris Matheson, MP for Chester; Lisa Rowe, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Business and Management; Nick Hodson, Chairman Chester Business Club and Professor Clare Schofield, Associate Dean, Faculty of Business and Management.

The event marked the start of National Apprenticeships Week and was attended by over 50 business delegates, along with the MP for Chester, Chris Matheson and the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Tim Wheeler.

HR professionals, company directors, careers advisers and other business leaders represented a wide range of organisations and sectors. Attendees were provided with the very latest information about apprenticeship opportunities and developments for all types and size of organisation. Funding was also discussed, with information given of how best to access significant funding, making the scheme virtually fee neutral in certain circumstances, and how apprenticeships can be used at any stage of an individual’s career in order to ‘grow their own graduate’ to fit each company’s needs.

Chris Matheson said: “Opening up opportunities for all and providing real skills through real apprenticeships will be central to Chester's success in driving our economic growth. It is wonderful that two of our most prestigious local institutions - the Business Club and the University - have developed this partnership to make that happen. I hope many more businesses will join up, and to anyone thinking of applying for the scheme I say - go for it; be ambitious, work hard, seize the opportunity and play your part in our city's success!"

The University and Chester Business Club also took the opportunity to collect feedback about potential impending skills shortages and possible recruitment problems, so that new programmes and curriculum can be developed and delivered specifically in line with business needs. There are a number of Degree Apprenticeship Standards in development and interested businesses will be supported in forming ‘trailblazer groups’ in order to provide their own input in how future Degree Apprenticeship content should look.

Nick Hodson, Chair of Chester Business Club, said: "Employers across the UK have, for years, been asking for practical courses offering students a high level qualification and a workforce equipped for the 21st Century. With this new Apprenticeship Degree course, the University of Chester is demonstrating a commitment to employers and employees in the city and the surrounding areas. Chester Business Club is fully committed to aiding the University in any way we can."

Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Tim Wheeler said: “The University is looking forward to working with our business partners to develop these exciting Degree Apprenticeships further and to enable those who take part to drive forward the economic success of the city, Cheshire and beyond.”

The first Degree Apprenticeship at the University of Chester is for aspiring leaders and managers and this brand new programme incorporates fully embedded professional body qualifications from the ILM, leading to a BA (Hons) Business Management and Leadership, plus ILM Diplomas in Leadership and Management at Levels 4, 5 and 6, and Chartered Manager status in addition.

Julie Rowlett, Business Manager for the ILM, said: “We are delighted to be working with the University of Chester to support the launch of their Degree Apprenticeship Programme. The unique work-based approach of Chester Degree sits entirely with the ethos of the ILM vocational qualifications. The embedding of our qualifications into the academic framework offer the learners the opportunity to demonstrate practitioner application in addition to aligning themselves to a professional body.”

It is anticipated that further Degree Apprenticeships will become available at the University of Chester as the latest degree standards are published.

If you would like to find out more about the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, or about involvement in newly formed ‘trailblazer groups’, please contact Lisa Rowe lisa.rowe@chester.ac.uk