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Hallam to create Centre of Excellence for Degree Apprenticeships

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Sheffield Hallam University has received a £500k funding boost to create a Centre of Excellence for Degree Apprenticeships to provide dedicated learning and teaching spaces for apprentices.

The University received a grant towards the project from the Sheffield City Region (SCR) Combined Authority to provide bespoke teaching space and IT equipment for hundreds of learners on degree apprenticeships.   

Sheffield Hallam is one of the leading universities for its offer of degree apprenticeships with a diverse and growing portfolio helping businesses and public sector organisations to tackle current and future skills shortages in key industries.

Degree apprenticeships have been developed in subject areas identified as important to the future success of the economy including management, healthcare, construction, engineering and computing.

This builds on an innovative approach to industry collaboration to support current workforce development as well as matching young people from a range of backgrounds with suitable businesses from across the UK to create a more diverse, highly-skilled workforce.

Since the introduction of degree apprenticeships in 2015, Sheffield Hallam has invested significantly in its portfolio; developing bespoke apprenticeships with key industry partners throughout the Sheffield City Region including, Wipro, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, Sheffield Forgemasters, Tonic Works and L&P Springs.

The University has taken on 380 degree apprentices since the launch and this figure is expected to grow to over 500 by the end of this academic year.

This investment will enable the University to support a further increase in degree apprenticeship starts on the growing range of programmes at Hallam - with the target of 750 new degree apprentices in the academic year 2018/19 and 2,250 by 2020/21.

The Centre of Excellence will provide tailored space for teaching for apprentices on a variety of courses, specialist IT facilities and also informal areas to support group work and networking. It will also be used to offer a range of professional development courses to employers.

The Centre will be based in a building on Pond Hill and will form part of the Knowledge Gateway- a partnership project to transform the corridor running along the Lower Sheaf to the Porter Valley, including Sheffield Midland station.

Conor Moss, Director of Education and Employer Partnerships, said: "The University has an ambition to become the world's leading applied university with a focus on innovative and applied education.

"We are committed to the region and have placed regional economic growth and social mobility at the heart of our strategy. As part of this commitment we have invested heavily in the development of one of the broadest degree apprenticeship portfolios in the UK, which has seen significant growth.

"We have also embarked on an innovative project to identify and support potential apprentices from the most disadvantaged backgrounds in the region and match them with our vibrant SME businesses.  

"We anticipate further development thanks to this funding which will help us to raise aspirations, attainment, productivity and ultimately regional economic growth."

Nigel Brewster, Vice Chairman of the SCR’s Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is a massive boost to productivity across the City Region. Our ethos is about creating jobs and economic growth, and these are just the sort of schemes that will continue putting our economy back on its feet.

The bid was supported by the four South Yorkshire Chambers of Commerce as well as a range of regional businesses.

It is hoped the new Centre of Excellence for Degree Apprenticeships will open in the new academic year in September 2018.

The announcement is being made as National Apprenticeship Week launches (5-9 March). During the week employers and apprentices from across England will come together to celebrate the success of apprenticeships whilst encouraging even more people to choose apprenticeships as a pathway to a great career.

If you think higher and degree apprenticeships can help shape the future of your business, give our expert apprenticeships team a call on 0114 225 5000 or find out more on our website

For press information: ContactJo Beattie in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2074 or email