The University of Wolverhampton is strengthening its construction foundations by launching its first Higher Apprenticeship in Construction Management.
The foundation degree in Built Environment, developed with input from leading businesses such as EDF and Wolverhampton Homes, will serve as a stepping stone to a full Bachelor of Science qualification via the apprenticeship route.
The university, which received the highest possible rating in last year’s Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) higher education review, is investing £250 million over the next five years as part of the Our Vision, Your Opportunity programme.
It has already built a £25 million Rosalind Franklin Science Building, a £18 million Lord Swraj Paul business school building, and the £65 million Springfield Campus, establishing an international centre for construction excellence.
Employees from Wolverhampton Homes, United Living, and Wates are currently studying various modules on the apprenticeship, including working on real-life projects and engaging in work-based learning, which provides a platform for their professional development.
“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,” said Paul Hampton, School of Architecture and Built Environment.
“All of our students have worked in the construction industry for a number of years, and they are pursuing higher apprenticeships with these qualifications with the support of their various companies to gain both practical and theoretical knowledge that will take their careers to the next level.”
“When I was offered the chance to study for a higher level qualification, it was an opportunity that I couldn’t turn down,” Anthony Pennant, United Living, who is currently studying for the higher apprenticeship, said. It’s critical for people to understand that it’s not just about books; it’s about reintroducing people to learning and education and making it relevant to their working lives.
“It’s ideal for mature students looking for a career change or the possibility of advancement through apprenticeships that can really open doors.”
The University of Wolverhampton has campuses in Wolverhampton, Walsall, and Telford, as well as education centres in Stafford, Burton, and Birmingham City Centre. It has over 21,000 students and 2,400 staff.
Currently, three people from four local businesses – Wakes Construction, Wolverhampton Homes, and United Living – are studying for the higher apprenticeship.
“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,” said Michele Roberts, head of the University of Wolverhampton’s Apprenticeship Hub.
“We are quickly responding to the recent announcement of the government levy, which will be implemented in April 2017, and we are currently expanding our apprenticeship portfolio for businesses.”
Employers in both the public and private sectors with a payroll of more than £3 million will receive a £15,000 allowance to offset levy payments, allowing employers to recover their levy payments when they spend on Apprenticeships, including Higher and Degree Apprenticeships.