Apprenticeships Minister unveils a £10 million Degree Apprenticeship Centre at the University of Warwick’s WMG
G illian Keegan MP, the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, has opened the WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre this week at the University of Warwick.
Through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), the centre has been funded by £10 million from the Government’s Local Growth Fund.
The brand-new centre provides opportunities for apprentices to study on degree programmes, developing the capabilities required for advanced engineering and manufacturing companies.
It presents degree apprenticeship training programmes for up to 1,000 students at a time, extending the University of Warwick’s current 20 programmes for 791 students, already one of the largest groups of degree apprenticeship courses at a Russell Group University.
The programme allows its students to attend academic studies at the university whilst completing employment at companies throughout the West Midlands in their chosen field.
Keegan stated: “It was such a privilege to open the WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre at Warwick University. Apprenticeships are a brilliant way for people of any age to launch new careers or progress in their industry, with opportunities at a range of levels across a variety of exciting sectors.
“As a former apprentice myself I know first-hand the lifelong passion for learning an apprenticeship can instil. It was wonderful to speak to Beverley and Rishi and hear their passion for where their apprenticeship journey will take them.
“I look forward to seeing how the centre will support the leaders of tomorrow to get the skills they need to succeed.”
Rishi Chohan, current final year Degree Apprentice from the Manufacturing Technology Centre, said: “It was a great pleasure to show Gillian Keegan MP around WMG’s fantastic Degree Apprenticeship Centre.
“As a final year degree apprentice, on the Applied Engineering Programme, the skills I have learnt at WMG, University of Warwick, have helped consolidate and facilitate my development as an engineer progressing into leadership at the Manufacturing Technology Centre.”
Warwick’s degree apprenticeships are founded on passion, knowledge, and a commitment to innovation
The innovative new centre has been purpose-built to supply students with a unique learning environment, including open spaces for both individual and collaborative work, technology-enabled seminar rooms, and a multifunctional laboratory with the latest equipment.
The University of Warwick’s Vice Chancellor, Stuart Croft, stated: “Warwick’s degree apprenticeships are founded on passion, knowledge, and a commitment to innovation. We demonstrate this in the way we work with industry and other partners and our degree apprenticeship students.
“We encourage gifted apprentices from all backgrounds to share our passion who want to have the opportunity to earn as they learn and pursue exciting careers in their chosen field from day one of their time on these programmes.
“Employers also value the passion and innovation of these students who will help close the skills gaps and inspire positive change both inside and outside the workplace.
“As a university we are deeply committed to continue to expand our routes to degree qualifications.”
Marion Plant, Board Director and Chair of the CWLEP’s Productivity and Skills Business Group, added: “This is a significant project funded by the CWLEP and fits in perfectly with our Strategic Reset Framework to provide high quality jobs and levelling up opportunities by supporting the development of higher-level skills.
“It is vital for the long-term ambitions of Coventry and Warwickshire’s economy that we retain talented people in the area by ensuring employers have the skills their future workforces will need to drive forward the innovations for which we are renowned in automotive and advanced manufacturing, to be globally competitive in an increasingly digitised world.”
By operating simultaneously with university education and work experience, WMG is expanding their pioneering programmes to predict and then fill future skills gaps across industries.