May 16, 2024 | University Partners

£1.2M degree apprenticeship funding for the University of Derby set to help close skills gaps in the East Midlands

More than £1.2 million has been awarded by the Office for Students to the University of Derby to support the development and expansion of degree apprenticeships, addressing skills gaps in key shortage areas within Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

The sum of £1,234,378 was the largest awarded by the Office for Students in this second wave of investment, totalling £14 million across 32 universities and colleges. It will be used to support the delivery of new degree apprenticeships, facilitate continuing engagement with potential apprentices and employers, and raise aspirations of those living in the region. It comes on top of more than £300,000 given to the University by the Office for Students in January.

The funding will be used to develop new degree apprenticeships, including a Project Manager programme to support skills needs in the region. It will provide support for the growing nuclear industry, adding to the apprenticeships offered at the Nuclear Skills Academy, which is run in partnership by the University and Rolls-Royce Submarines Ltd.

A new Public Health Practitioner degree apprenticeship will also be developed, which will help address the training requirements for the UK’s public health workforce, as identified in the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan.

In addition to new programmes, the funding will support increased awareness of and participation in apprenticeships that currently experience low take-up across the country, building on the University’s expertise in strengthening relationships with employers and the business community. These include programmes in the nuclear and aerospace industries, as well as a range of health care apprenticeships, including in diagnostic radiography and operating department practice.

Dr Denise Baker, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care at the University of Derby, said:

“This funding will provide a major boost to our efforts to address significant skills gaps in our region and across the UK. It will enable us to work even more closely with employers to promote apprenticeships, offer peer support – especially for smaller and medium-sized organisations – and support employers to maximise their use of the apprenticeship levy. The University of Derby already has a strong reputation for its apprenticeships in the region with a proven track record of engaging with industry, and this support from the Office for Students will help us to develop closer industry ties to benefit apprentices and the sectors in which they work.”