University Wolverhampton Building Foundations Through Higher Level Apprenticeships

The University of Wolverhampton is building on its solid construction foundations by offering its first Higher Apprenticeship in Construction Management.

The foundation degree in Built Environment, which has been developed with input from leading businesses including EDF and Wolverhampton Homes, will provide a stepping stone towards a full Bachelor of Science qualification using the apprenticeship route.

The university, which was awarded the highest possible accolade in the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) higher education review last year, is investing £250 million over the next five years as part of the Our Vision, Your Opportunity programme.

It has already developed a £25 million Rosalind Franklin Science Building, a new £18 million Lord Swraj Paul business school building and the £65 million Springfield Campus, creating an international hub for construction excellence.

Employees from Wolverhampton Homes, United Living and Wates are currently studying various modules on the apprenticeship including engaging with real life projects and work-based learning which provides a platform to enhance their professional development .

Paul Hampton, School of Architecture and Built Environment, said: “Our relatively new Higher Apprenticeship is a unique opportunity for industry practitioners to transfer their wealth of industrial experience into higher education qualifications using the apprenticeship route.

“All of our students have worked in the construction industry for a number of years and with the support of their various companies they are pursuing higher apprenticeships with these qualifications to gain both practical and theoretical knowledge that will take their careers to the next level.”

Anthony Pennant, United Living, currently studying for the higher apprenticeship, said: “When I was offered the chance to study for a higher level qualification, it was an opportunity that I couldn’t turn down. It’s important for people to realise it’s not all just about books, it’s about getting people back into learning and education and making it relevant to their working life.

“It’s really good for mature students who are looking for a career change or the possibility of promotion with apprenticeships that can really open doors.”

Based at campuses in Wolverhampton, Walsall and Telford and education centres in Stafford, Burton and Birmingham City Centre, the University has more than 21,000 students and 2,400 staff.

Currently there are three people studying for the higher apprenticeship from four local businesses – Wakes Construction, Wolverhampton Homes and United Living.

Michele Roberts, head of the Apprenticeship Hub at the University of Wolverhampton, said “The University of Wolverhampton has worked together with local construction companies to provide a new foundation degree which will enable businesses to upskill employees with higher level qualifications through the apprenticeship route.”

“We are responding quickly to the recent announcement of the government levy which will be introduced in April 2017 and currently expanding our apprenticeship portfolio for businesses.”

Employers in both the public and private sector with a payroll of over £3 million will receive an allowance of £15,000 to offset against payment of the levy meaning that employers will be able to recover their levy payments when they spend on Apprenticeships including Higher and Degree Apprenticeships.

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