Industry-driven Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship attracts the brightest and the best.

Posted on 2nd October 2017

After the trailblazing launch of its unique Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeships in 2016 and its award-winning employer engagement, the University of Chester is welcoming a significantly larger cohort to its industry-driven programme this year.

The new starters of 2017.
The new starters of 2017.

Following the group of 12 that started last year, more than 50 employees have joined, after applying to study to gain their degree while working. They will be released from their normal jobs one-day each week to study towards their degree, with attendance at University comprising approximately 12 of those days per annum. They will be able to access all the support and benefits offered to full-time students. 

Jemma, an Executive Assistant with LPW Technology Ltd in Runcorn, has been with the company for two years and is starting a four year apprenticeship programme. She said: “It’s exciting! I’m looking forward to the degree apprenticeship as a way of speeding up promotion and widening my business knowledge. It covers so many aspects of business, as well as building confidence.”

The programme is offered through the University’s renowned Centre for Work Related Studies (CWRS). It is a unique offering of a BA Hons in Business Management and Leadership with three Institute of Leadership and Management Diplomas alongside Chartered Manager status. Students are able to negotiate aspects of their learning and assessment, to ensure their relevance to the workplace and can also potentially gain recognition for their prior qualifications. These factors have seen students specifically choose to study at the University of Chester.

Another student joining the programme is Charlie Waring who has been a Recruitment Consultant for more than four years.  He is continuing as an apprentice after already achieving Level Two and Level Four apprenticeships. He travelled for three hours from the south coast to attend the induction at Chester. He said: “This is the next step for me. Only three other universities offered this course and this one was the best.”

Matt Thorpe and Gemma Thorley are joining the programme at Level 6 to gain their degree in just one year having had their prior learning and experience taken into account.  Matt said: “It is a fantastic opportunity that we weren’t aware of until recently and it really suits me.”

A greater range of companies have been attracted to the University’s degree apprenticeship this year to help address skills gaps and develop their workforce - a testament to Chester’s development of the apprenticeship route in collaboration with employers. The University was awarded with an Educate North Award for Employer Engagement recognising its degree apprenticeships earlier this year and has recently been working closely with employers to develop postgraduate apprenticeship routes. 

Lisa Rowe, Director of Business Engagement and Partnerships at the University, said: "The region's key employers have been working tirelessly over the last few months to filter and recruit applicants to our Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship. It is an absolute privilege for us to welcome both new and existing high-flying employees who are representative of an increasingly diverse spread of industries, sectors and job roles.

“We will be adding to our portfolio in the coming months with a Master's Degree Apprenticeship, giving the opportunity for employees to achieve an employer-led MBA, MA or MSc Business and Management for Senior Leaders.”

The majority of apprentices starting this year have come from employers who have taken up the opportunity of the levy. 

Lisa added: “With the levy currently generating funding for 90 to 100% of university fees, there has never been a better opportunity to gain a funded work-based degree or Master's qualification."   

A second wave of apprentices will start in the spring/summer of 2018. To find out more about the programme and the apprenticeship levy available to businesses, please contact Lisa Rowe, Director of Business Engagement lisa.rowe@chester.ac.uk, or visit www.chester.ac.uk/degree-apprenticeships/business.