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University partners with international company to provide Degree Apprenticeships


The University of Wolverhampton has agreed a three year partnership deal with leading public sector services provider, Serco, to provide one of the first Degree Apprenticeships in the UK for their employees.

One of the world’s largest providers of public services to Governments, Serco employs over 50,000 people in over 20 countries with over 600 contracts worldwide.  Based in Hampshire, they have been delivering essential services for over 50 years.

Serco employees will be among the first in the country to study the new Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship – launched at the University by Sir Clive Woodward, former England Rugby coach, at an employer breakfast event during National Apprenticeship Week.

The three-year partnership will enable selected Serco staff to study the Degree Apprenticeship, which is work-based with a mixture of blended learning including lectures and distance learning materials. Students will also have access to in-house company mentors and training support. The Degree Apprenticeship covers all aspects of business including management, marketing, human resources, finance and operations management.

Jackie Dunne, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Access and Lifelong Learning) at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “Serco is one of the first companies to make a real commitment to providing progression pathways for their employees over the next three years through the new Degree Apprenticeship programme and we’re really looking forward to partnering with them.

“The government is committed to boosting productivity and increasing the quantity and quality of apprenticeships through its new levy. We have launched our new Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship during National Apprenticeship Week to highlight the benefits to all employers of investing in upskilling staff by equipping them with higher level skills.” 

Gareth Moss, Serco Employment, Skills and Enterprise Director, said: “We are proud to be working in partnership with the University of Wolverhampton to bring this innovative new programme to Serco colleagues. The combination of an academic degree and Chartered Manager status is a fantastic opportunity, involving a powerful mix of academic and on-the-job learning. Our people are the core of our business, so we’re always looking for new ways to develop colleagues’ skills and support them to reach their full potential.” 

The University is also working with local Further Education providers, Walsall College, City of Wolverhampton College and BMet, to identify businesses that are employing Level 3 and 5 apprentices with a view to promoting the Degree Apprenticeship to students studying business related apprenticeships wanting to gain professional status through the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

Petra Wilton, Director of Strategy for the Chartered Management Institute, said: “We’re thrilled to partner with the University of Wolverhampton to support their Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship programme.

“This is a great opportunity for employers in the area to use Apprenticeship Levy funds to invest in the skills needed to lead and grow a competitive workforce. The opportunities for those studying for a Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship are also huge, with apprentices offered the three-fold benefits of a quality degree, on-the-job experience and a professional pathway for future development.”

The University opened an Apprenticeship Hub last year providing a bespoke and independent venue for potential apprentices, employers and learning providers, offering clear and integrated progression routes for vocational pathways.

Having been awarded £250,000 funding from the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE), the University is developing a range of new Degree Apprenticeships in a variety of subjects to support local and regional skills needs including Law, Engineering, Digital Technology, Leadership and Management, Policing and Nursing. 

Designed by employers, universities and professional bodies, Degree Apprenticeships deliver high-tech and high level skills and offer an alternative to a traditional degree course. Bringing together university study with paid work, Degree Apprentices spend part of their time at university and part with their employer.

Picture caption from left to right: Michele Roberts, (Head of the Apprenticeship Hub at the University of Wolverhampton), Anne Thomas (Skills Team - Serco), Olga Sara (HE Relationship Manager - Chartered Management Institute), Miceal Barden (Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Wolverhampton), Jackie Dunne (Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Access and Lifelong Learning at the University of Wolverhampton) and Sir Clive Woodward.


For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736 / 01902 518647 or Adam Williams, Head of Media Relations (Serco Group) on 07718 025085.

Date Issued: 9th March 2017

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

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