The University of Suffolk has received a ‘Good’ rating following the recent Ofsted inspection of its apprenticeship provision.
Inspectors visited the Ipswich campus and concluded apprentices benefitted from well-resourced, high quality training facilities and support they received both academically and in the workplace.
Leadership, planning and focus have been highlighted as particular strengths with the report saying: “Leaders have a strong and effective focus on driving forward quality improvement for apprenticeships.
“They place a high value on apprenticeships as part of the strategic plans for the University.
“Staff at all levels of the organisation, including governors, understand apprenticeships fully and recognise the transformational journey that the University is on to grow high quality apprenticeships.”
The University’s relationship with employers was also highlighted as a strength with the report concluding: “Leaders work closely and purposefully with employers to design an apprenticeship offer that meets local and regional skills needs very well.”
An example of this partnership is where the nursing and social work apprentices support NHS trusts and local authorities to meet critical skills gaps in the workforce.
Professor Mohammad Dastbaz, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Suffolk said: “We are pleased with the Ofsted inspection results which shows the University’s strong commitment to its Apprenticeship programmes and the learners experience with us.
“As noted by the Ofsted report we are on a journey to transform lives and our region, and we will be working closely with employers to further develop our portfolio in the coming months.”
Fiona Fisk, Academic Registrar and Director of Student Life and Registry Services added: “The Inspection was a rigorous review of all aspects of delivery of our apprenticeship provision to ensure it meets the approved Standards and provides our employers and learners with academic and professionally skilled employees addressing local and regional skills gaps.
“This outcome is recognition of the significant work of our staff, employers and learners and we look forward to continuing to work with them and further develop our provision.”
Other report highlights include:
- Lecturers use their extensive experience and industry knowledge highly effectively to promote thought-provoking discussions
- Staff provide excellent support for apprentices wellbeing
- Staff provide apprentices with helpful careers advice and guidance
- Apprentices are punctual and committed to their learning and work
At the time of inspection, there were 368 apprentices on standards-based apprenticeship programmes, the largest proportion being in health, and information technology (IT).
The University had 129 Nursing Associate apprentices and 53 apprentices on the Registered Nurse degree apprenticeship both of which are programmes approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
Level 6 Digital Technology Solutions Professional had 108 apprentices, almost all of whom work for a national IT infrastructure company.
The remaining apprentices were on the level 6 Social Worker, level 5 Healthcare Assistant Practitioner and level 7 Senior Leader apprenticeships.