The pandemic has affected millions of the working population, causing a rift in the job market to the point that we saw redundancies, forced career moves and mass unemployment.
It is not all doom and gloom! This year has also shown the resilience of people and businesses fighting back, using innovation and creativity to adapt to our environment.
As we reflect on this period and look for solutions to support future employment and economic growth, we speak with the higher and degree apprenticeship team at the University of Sunderland and discover how they are collaborating with employees and organisations to provide much-needed higher education solutions, enabling the growth of professional skills and knowledge in the workplace.
Higher and degree apprenticeships offer fantastic opportunities and a cost-effective way of attracting and developing fresh talent to a business or upskilling and motivating existing employees.
For the apprentice it’s an inspiring and contemporary approach to work-based learning and a great way to extend your learning and skills whilst earning a salary.
The University of Sunderland is internationally recognised for quality teaching and research, and has been providing higher education since 1901.
They were one of the first universities to introduce higher and degree apprenticeships and have helped businesses grow high calibre staff through the development of skills and knowledge relevant to job roles.
One of the University’s main success factors is its links with employers; their engagement with key stakeholders from development to on-going meetings has helped transform the learning provision.
It has enabled them to provide purposeful learning experiences which meets industry demands in the region.
Hazel Rounthwaite, Head of Work Based Learning at the University of Sunderland says: “All of our higher and degree apprenticeships are designed in collaboration with employers to ensure that bespoke programmes are focussed on the needs and specific requirements of your business. Higher or degree apprenticeship graduates are at the top of their game and are well placed and qualified to become the future leaders of your business.”
Businesses can also benefit from a variety of funding to assist with the employment and development of the apprentice. For levy-paying employers it’s an opportunity to attract talent to your business, train your staff and enjoy the ultimate return on investment from your levy payments, while for smaller businesses, the Government will fund up to 95% of apprenticeship course fees.
Employers can also claim an incentive payment of £3,000 for employing a new apprentice of any age before 30 September 2021.
Higher and degree apprentices offer fantastic opportunities, adding value back into your business whilst bringing fresh new ideas to the workplace.
They learn specific skills relevant to your business so they’re ready to hit the ground running as soon as they qualify. For existing employees, it gives them the opportunity to learn and progress whilst boosting the talent of your team.
Apprentices spend 80% of their time working in your business and the remaining 20% of their time is allocated for university directed study. Contact with the University of Sunderland allows apprentices to access world-leading academics, research, facilities and more, and an additional benefit to the employer is that they will transfer these skills and knowledge back to your organisation.
They also benefit from the University’s support network which provides holistic and effective assistance throughout the apprenticeship and beyond.
Some of the most popular apprenticeships offered at the University of Sunderland include the MBA Senior Leader, Learning and Skills Teacher, BEng Engineering Practice, BSc Digital and Technology Professional and the MSc Digital and Technology Solutions Specialist.