By Bridget Moseley, Head of Apprenticeship Unit, University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD)
The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has recognised that the higher education landscape in the UK is ever-changing, with the recruitment of students to traditional full-time undergraduate programmes providing no fewer challenges in west Wales than it does to the whole sector across the UK.
UWTSD has embraced this challenge and in collaboration with local employers, FE partners and private training providers, is developing a range of alternative modes of study and accessible programmes to not only address this challenge to the University, but also to help address some of regional issues around development of higher level skills and the recruitment of staff into a wide range of high level skill areas.
One of these programmes is the Digital Degree Apprenticeship, a programme that has grown from a long-standing partnership between the University and the Health Informatics Service in Wales (NWIS). NWIS approached the University to help develop a range of skills based education programmes that would support and enable the upskilling and professional recognition of the role within the health service.
The structure of the dual sector UWTSD Group, including Further Education colleges, Coleg Sir Gar and Coleg Ceredigion, facilitates the collaborative development and delivery of all levels of work-based and apprenticeship provision and was ideal to take this work forward. A suite of apprenticeship programmes from level 2 Foundation Apprenticeships through to the recently launched Digital Degree Apprenticeship are now up and running supporting around 90 individuals. This provision pathway is mirrored across a wide range of vocational areas within the Group, funded by a range of government, national, regional and private finance initiatives.
The ongoing engagement with NWIS, and a range of other employers in Wales, has enabled the University to react very quickly to the Welsh Government call for Expressions of Interest in Degree Apprenticeship programmes. The ethos of apprenticeships matches very closely with the University’s approach to meeting local requirements for local people.
And so several years of hard work and determination come to fruition in September 2018 for the School of Applied Computing and the Apprenticeship Unit in UWTSD when the University welcomes the first cohort of degree apprentices to the brand new facilities in Swansea’s SA1 Waterfront Development – an exciting state-of-the-art facility for an exciting state-of-the-art programme!
Published: 2 October 2018