The University of Birmingham has signed an innovative multi-programme framework agreement with Birmingham City Council to deliver degree apprenticeship programmes across a range of disciplines.

Degree apprenticeships offer a unique and highly desirable opportunity for learners to develop knowledge, alongside practical work-based learning.

The University of Birmingham is a key strategic partner of Birmingham City Council, and this announcement builds on previous jointly developed work by the institutions around the 21st Century Public Servant. Programmes in Education, Public Management, Health and Care System Leadership as well as Executive MBAs will future-proof and address skills-deficits within the City Council’s extensive workforce.

Councillor Tristan Chatfield, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources at Birmingham City Council, notes: “Over the last decade or so the size and profile of our workforce has changed significantly as a result of reduced budgets, technology and changing citizen needs. We must have the right employees in the right place at the right time. This partnership and the degree apprenticeships will be of immense help as we look to develop and improve our workforce, so it is fit for the challenges of now and the future. We are hugely ambitious for the future of Birmingham City Council, but we can only realise those ambitions with a dynamic, engaged and positive workforce.”

Professor Catherine Mangan of the University of Birmingham, continues: “This partnership builds on our long-standing civic engagement with the Council. The University of Birmingham is committed to developing degree apprenticeships as part of its programme portfolio and considers them of paramount importance in addressing regional and national skills gaps”.

Having launched its first degree apprenticeship programmes in 2018, the University of Birmingham now delivers 10 degree apprenticeship programmes to over 330 apprentices, covering a broad range of skills including urban and regional planning, digital skills, advanced clinical practice, rail engineering and senior leadership. There are partnerships in place with over 70 organisations across the private, public and third sectors, in business, local government, education and the NHS. The University is continuing to develop further programmes against additional Apprenticeship Standards with an offer for partners that continues to grow.

Early indications also show that degree apprenticeships enable greater diversification of the student population; our Digital and Technology Solutions Professional Degree Apprenticeship programme has attracted a higher number of female applicants than ever before to the discipline.

The programme also links with our widening participation agenda, encouraging applications from groups who may not have traditionally considered a university education and offers a new way to strengthen further education to higher education pathways; working in collaboration with local FE colleges across the region.

For further information on degree apprenticeships at the University of Birmingham please email

By Sam Hickman, Degree Apprenticeships Manager at the University of Birmingham.