Aston University has been awarded £250,000 to support the growth of life-changing degree apprenticeships and help educate SMEs on the huge value it can bring to their business.
The funding, awarded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), forms part of the second phase of the Government’s two-year Degree Apprenticeships Development Fund (DADF) programme.
The cash will be used to grow the range of course options available across business, engineering, health, logistics, and technology subject areas. In addition, it will help fund a new training programme for SMEs who are interested in taking on an apprentice.
In addition, the funding will help the University in its mission to ensure degree apprenticeships are accessible to people of all backgrounds. The money will go towards raising awareness of degree apprenticeships in hard-to-reach areas and a campaign to persuade universities to use strengths-based assessments when selecting applications, based on its increasing use among employers as a strong indicator of workplace and academic success.
A total of £9.4 million has been shared across universities around the country to develop the provision for apprentices from September 2018. The aim of the DADF is to create new higher-quality apprenticeships, establish capacity and expertise to deliver them and make broader educational opportunities available to learners.
Professor Helen Higson, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Aston University, said: “The only degree apprenticeship graduates who currently exist in the UK are from Aston, so we really are at the forefront of this hugely important development in higher education. We see degree apprenticeships as an integral and important part of our degree portfolio and this money will help us significantly expand our range of courses and help educate small businesses on the huge benefits this can bring.
“Experience is as important as education, and one of our core beliefs is that a degree should enable a student to be workplace-ready. Our aim is that whenever young people hear the words ‘degree apprenticeship’, they think Aston University. This funding is will play a significant role in helping us achieve that.”