Higher Apprenticeships - the benefits of collaborations

Higher Apprenticeships - the benefits of collaborations

IntroMEGIn 2014/2015 New College Durham made a strategic decision to strengthen its higher education portfolio to include Higher Apprenticeships. Working with employers to identify and educate.

To strengthen our offer we utilised our Foundation Degree Awarding Powers and worked in partnership with Sector Skills Councils to map our Foundation Degrees into the current frameworks. Having Higher Apprenticeships in our portfolio gives apprentices and employers a diverse and comprehensive curriculum offer which allows progression from Intermediate Apprenticeships right through to Degree Apprenticeships.

At the end of 2015/2016 we will have in excess of 200 apprentices enrolled across 9 different Higher Apprenticeship frameworks.
The School of Sport, Business, Public Services and ICT has introduced Higher Apprenticeships in Business Administration, Management, HR and Accountancy. The CMI Management Higher Apprenticeship has been particularly popular with over 100 apprentices enrolled with further cohorts scheduled.

Mike Wallbank, Operations Manager, St Aidan’s & Van Mildert Colleges Durham University said the CMI Higher Apprenticeship had “specifically impacted on John’s increased capability in managing our Preventative Maintenance Plan and our annual Audit Programme. He is more aware of impact of our actions on a wide variety of stakeholders and has improved his communication skills as a result. The course has bolstered John’s confidence in dealing with a wide variety of management, colleagues, students, staff and business contacts”.

New College Durham has been innovative by using blended learning to support CMI Higher Apprenticeships with apprentices attending college every other week.During the week away from college they access videos and resources that have been created by the teaching team. This has proved to be highly successful and one of the apprentices stating: “The webinars for the blended learning are excellent and have plenty of information to enable me to write my assignments from the comfort of my own home. The course has helped me to plan better especially the project management topic as I was already working on a project and the guidance of the course has helped me project manage a successful refurbishment of the college bar for the students”.

Another successful Higher Apprenticeship in CIPD HR has recruited almost 40 Higher Apprentices who all become members of the CIPD during induction. Programmes can be customised to meet individual needs of employers; the programme designed for Durham County Council has been adapted to meet their specific requirements and includes modules on Employment Law, Resource and Talent Planning, and Contemporary Issues in HR.

The Higher Apprenticeship is underpinned by a robust initial assessment process incorporating literacy and numeracy and appropriate aptitude tests. This informs their suitability for the programme and results in a personalised learning plan that meets the needs of both apprentice and employer. Every apprentice and employer is assigned their own Work Based Liaison Officer, who is responsible for monitoring and maintaining strong working relationships throughout the duration of the programme.

Tracey, Student, New College Durham said:
"The programme has given me the opportunity to develop my current skills. I have found the assignments interesting and relative to middle management. I understand more about why we are implementing service developments to progress to a more robust NHS Trust who gives the best outcomes for patients, staff and stakeholders.”

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