Apprentices shine at national business conference

Posted on 8th December 2017

An academic at the University of Chester has shared her expertise in the growing area of degree apprenticeships with delegates from business schools across the country.

Jack de Wynter-Smith, Airbus (second left) and Emilia Hoyle, HeatTrace with fellow panellists from Pearson Education and Chris Achiampong from IBM.
Jack de Wynter-Smith, Airbus (second left) and Emilia Hoyle, HeatTrace with fellow panellists from Pearson Education and Chris Achiampong from IBM.

Lisa Rowe, Director of Business Engagement and Partnerships at the University was invited speak at a session on degree apprenticeships at the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS) conference in Birmingham.

Lisa invited two current apprentices to present at the conference with her - Jack de Wynter-Smith from Airbus and Emilia Hoyle from HeatTrace are both on the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) programme and shared their experiences.

The CABS Annual Conference 2017 celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Association and included more than 250 delegates and keynote addresses from distinguished speakers including President of Universities UK, Professor Janet Beer; the Rt Hon Lord David Willetts and Ann Pickering, HR Director for O2 (Telefónica UK). Deans and directors from across the business school community explored emerging issues around Brexit, REF 2021 and new opportunities such as degree level apprenticeships.

Lisa was invited to present at the pre-conference workshop, which explored apprenticeships as a new opportunity for business schools. She described a case study based on the University’s work and discussed the design and development of the degree apprenticeship programme, as well as its challenges, opportunities and rewards. She talked about the current clients of the programme and the brand new MBA/MA/MSc Apprenticeship which is launching in the spring. She also took part in a question and answer panel session.

The apprentices took part in a facilitated question and answer session to explore their perspective, such as why they had chosen their apprenticeship, how it matches up to their preconceptions, the hardest and most rewarding elements.

Lisa said: “The feedback was excellent - the apprentices were the stars of the show. Several senior people sought them out in a crowded lunch hall lunch to congratulate them.”

Feedback from CABS said: "This was our largest gathering to date and, judging by the feedback that has come in thus far, it was one of our most well received. The session on degree apprenticeships seems to have gone down particularly well and we are most grateful for your contribution. Also, for lining up Emilia and Jack – I understand that they made a great impression."

Emilia said: "I am glad we made a great impression and hopefully inspired the business schools and employees in the room to develop Degree Apprenticeship courses!”

Jack said: "Thank you very much for inviting me, it was thoroughly enjoyable!”

The University was one of the very first to launch the CDMA, which was led by Lisa. The delivery method is extremely flexible with compulsory workshop attendance just 12 days a year supported by a blended learning approach and regular workplace visits. Lisa mapped both the Institute of Leadership of Management (ILM) and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) qualifications into degree apprenticeship modules.

Lisa has now been asked to join a CABS degree apprenticeship group, which aims to work together to resolve issues and achieve common goals.

Professor Clare Schofield, Dean for the Faculty of Business and Management, said: “A huge thank you to Lisa for accepting the CABS invitation to speak at the conference to share your experience with the business school community and for being a superb ambassador for the University of Chester.”