UWTSD & Welsh Government launch second year of Digital Degree Apprenticeship Programme


18.03.2019

University of Wales Trinity Saint David is delighted that Welsh Government has released funding for a Digital Degree Apprenticeship programme for a second year. This programme will once again be delivered at the University’s new SA1 Swansea Waterfront Development.

Degree Apprenticeships are available in three pathways:

Applied Software Engineering

Applied Data Science

Applied Cyber Security Management

The programmes have been approved and validated by the British Computer Society while the Software Engineering programme also has partial Chartered Engineer accreditation with the Engineering Council. All programmes will lead to Chartered IT Professional Status (CITP).

The Apprenticeship will run over 4 years with off the job training taking place on a day release basis at the University’s IQ Building in SA1. Apprentices will be supported throughout their programme by a Training Adviser, who will visit the workplace regularly, providing the link between the academic studies and workplace learning, and addressing any issues that may arise during the programme. Digital Degree Apprenticeship programmes in Engineering will commence in the summer.

The University’s vision for SA1 Swansea Waterfront is to create a learning-centred neighbourhood where collaboration and partnership are the key drivers for teaching, learning and innovation. Together, with our partners we are developing new provision to address skills gaps, creating enterprise hubs and accelerator schemes to grow new businesses, developing the skills of current businesses and attracting new investment into the region.

Digital degree apprenticeships provide a unique opportunity to co-create with employers a programme of study that completely integrates academic study and practical application from the outset. Meaningful training linked to real career opportunities whilst achieving a postgraduate award is a tangible expression of the skills-pipeline at the heart of the SA1 Swansea Waterfront, where we are committed to developing creative, skilled and employable graduates.

Kirsty Williams, Minister for Education, said: "It is essential people are equipped with the right skills and knowledge to benefit from the opportunities an evolving labour market presents.  Degree apprenticeships are ideal for people already working in technology industries but are keen to study to degree level, or those who are new to the workforce but would like to study for a degree at the same time.

“This is also about improving social mobility and widening participation - providing alternative routes into higher education for people who didn’t consider or may not have had the opportunity to go to university straight after leaving school.

“The degree apprenticeship therefore offers those all-round benefits – they’re good for individual development, good for diversifying entry into the professions and good for Wales’ economic well-being.”

Ken Skates, Minister for Economy and Transport, said: "Our rapidly changing economy means that securing and retaining a highly skilled workforce is imperative to our future economic wellbeing. And with the ongoing challenges and uncertainties of Brexit there is no doubt that developing a highly skilled and flexible workforce is more important than ever.  These degree apprenticeships have been designed to reflect the needs of employers in Wales, providing the knowledge and skills they recognise and value.  They will help improve productivity by upskilling both the new and the existing workforce, and will deliver clear benefits to both employer and employee.”

Professor Ian Wells, Head of School of Applied Computing at UWTSD said: “Degree apprenticeships are a great way for employees to gain hands-on experience while studying towards a full Bachelor’s degree, earning a wage and bringing new skills into a business. Graduates on these programmes are extremely employable and their skills benefit the employer.”

Apprentices who started the programme in September 2018 are already putting their skills into practice in the workplace.  Siobhan Stephens, an Apprentice in Software Engineering, is leading a key project for her employer, Mobilise, in Swansea, applying techniques that she has studied as part of the digital degree programme.

Siobhan said she wanted to secure employment after her A Levels, but also wanted to further her education by studying for a degree. She started looking for part time courses and came across the digital degree apprenticeship programme on social media.

“It seemed ideal, so I attended one of the launch events where I spoke to Professor Wells and Adam Davies from Mobilise who was one of the employers there and a former graduate of UWTSD, and decided it was definitely one I wanted to do,” she added.

“I have loved every minute of the programme. Joining the work place was definitely the right thing for me and starting my degree with other students in a similar situation has been so beneficial. I get to combine what I have learnt in University with what I’m learning in work. I’m able to manage my studies alongside my work as my employer gives me time during the week to do so.  I find that doing my University work is often easier as the work is already covered in the work place. I would definitely encourage anyone who is considering a degree to consider a degree apprenticeship  - being able to work, earn and have your degree fees covered by the Welsh Government is an amazing opportunity and coming out of your degree with 4 years’ work experience is invaluable.”

Justin Lewis, Chief Operating Officer and Founder of Mobilise said: “Mobilise specialises in an area of technology where it is very difficult to get people with the right skills. So the ideal solution was to bring an apprentice in who would be taught the necessary skills through the degree programme, but we could also train them on the job in the specialist areas of cloud technology. Siobhan has done a fantastic job since joining us, quickly getting up to speed with the work we do and she’s also coping really well with the degree course. It’s proved an excellent way for us to bring new people into the business and we’ll be at the next launch event looking for new potential apprentices. For us, this has been a big success, we’ve got an excellent relationship with UWTSD and we would highly recommend other employers in the area to look at this as a way forward.”

Bridget Moseley, Head of UWTSD’s Apprenticeship Unit said: “The key to a good apprenticeship programme is a very strong relationship between all parties that are involved, that’s the employer, the University and the apprentice themselves. And that’s what we do here at UWTSD. This ensures the whole experience for the apprentice is very strong, very positive and is geared very much towards their future career. The tight relationship between the University and the employer ensures that the learning that happens both in the University and the workplace really feeds into the overall degree experience for the apprentice.”

Adam Davies, Head of Consultancy at Mobilise and UWTSD graduate said: “In the sixth months Siobhan has been here, we’ve seen her skills and confidence grow and develop. She’s contributing to the continuous development of the company and I’d like to think that we are contributing a lot to her development and to her degree studies, teaching her additional skills to complement the ones that she’s learning through her course.”

Barry Liles, OBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Skills and Lifelong Learning) at UWTSD said: “As a provider of high level skills, we recognise the immense benefits to both our students and employers that can be achieved through digital degree apprenticeships. They are invaluable for preparing students with the skills and knowledge needed for industry – using a combination of expertise to upskill the talent pipeline for employers in Wales and beyond. We want to ensure that every student who walks through our doors, leaves with a skillset for life.”

For further information on Degree and Higher Apprenticeships delivered by UWTSD and partners contact apprenticeships@uwtsd.ac.uk

Note to Editor

Two Business Breakfast events are being held, in Cardiff and Swansea on March 20 & 21, to launch the Digital Degree Apprenticeships 2019.

Please register using the appropriate Eventbrite link below:

CARDIFF BUSINESS BREAKFAST

THE TRAMSHED CF11 6QP

WEDNESDAY MARCH 20th

7:30AM TO 9AM

Register  Here

 

SWANSEA BUSINESS BREAKFAST

DYLAN THOMAS CENTRE SA1 1RR

THURSDAY MARCH 21st

7:30AM TO 9AM

Register Here

 

Mobilise

Mobilise has invested significantly in the early adoption of Public Cloud services, as a long-standing AWS and Microsoft cloud partner, and has become a trusted cloud enablement advisor and implementation specialist.

We are working to deliver the increasing range of cloud-based solutions and services to our growing customer base. This includes providing best practise implementation advice, enabling the customer teams to deliver their own solutions on public cloud, through to migration of services from legacy platforms, and end to end transformation of the IT technical and service delivery approach.

Mobilise centre their business around 7 major services; design and build, migration, cost management, security enablement, DevOps implementation, server less application delivery and managed service.

Each of these areas have their own trusted team that is run from their operations centre here in Wales.

Further Information

Rebecca Davies

Swyddog Gweithredol Cysylltiadau â’r Wasg a’r Cyfryngau

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

Tel: 01792 483695
Mobile: 07384 467071
Email: Rebecca.Davies@uwtsd.ac.uk