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New Degree Apprenticeship creates new environment for learning

11/02/2021

The University of Wolverhampton has introduced a new Degree Apprenticeship programme - creating a new environment for learning while earning.

The Environmental Health Practitioner Degree Apprenticeship, will provide a pathway towards chartership with the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

During National Apprenticeship Week (#NAW21), the University is celebrating and showcasing the achievements of Apprentices with the theme of BUILD THE FUTURE.

Christine Beeston, 50 from Telford, is the Compliance Officer for Shire Services at Shropshire Council, dealing with catering, facilities management, cleaning and school food distribution. She is the first Apprentice to join the programme and has just started in her first year of the four year, part-time course funded by Shropshire Council through their Apprenticeship Levy.

The programme will offer a mix of vocational and academic study including work-based learning, field work, project control and on-site decision making as well as management and liaison with clients, the public and business operators.

Christine said: “I never thought I had the confidence to go to University. Now that I’ve reached a milestone age, and knowing that I’ve got a wealth of experience behind me, I know that I want to further my career and back up all those years of experience with a qualification.

“During my career at Shropshire Council, I’ve developed a real interest in Environmental Health and I would like to advance my career and have the option to move more towards a role in Public Protection. I have lots of practical experience, but nothing to back this up in terms of qualifications, and without that I won’t be able to get to where I want to be.

“My two children are older and now more self-sufficient and, after talking it over with my family because this is a big commitment for all of us, I feel that the time is right for me to further my career and this new Degree Apprenticeship will offer me that opportunity."

Dr Paul Hampton, Associate Head of School of Architecture and Built Environment (academic) at the University, said: “Environmental Health Practitioners are highly trained and experienced members of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. This new Apprenticeship Undergraduate degree has been developed to cater for a more diverse entry route which allows the apprentice to complete the first stage towards their chartership.

“Protection of public health is the key principle underpinning the work of Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP), whether that is investigating a food poisoning outbreak or accident at work, through to noise problems, housing issues and contamination of the environment.

“Through the Degree Apprenticeship programme, Apprentices will develop the skills and an appreciation to address a wide range of issues and to lead and work with others in the delivery of successful projects.”

Kate MacDonald, Upskill Programme Lead at Shropshire Council, said: “Degree Apprenticeships are a great way for Shropshire Council to futureproof our workforce. It’s an opportunity for us to upskill our staff in a flexible way.

“One of the main benefits for us as an organisation is that Apprentices can apply their learning to the workplace. Their studies enable our employees to get an in-depth knowledge and that transfers directly to their day-to-day job role meaning we have a qualified workforce and can deliver quality services to our customers within the Shropshire County.”

Apprentices are supported by their employer as well as a Tutor and Skills Coach throughout the programme and will achieve a Bachelor of Science (BSc) Environmental Health degree upon completion of the Apprenticeship programme.

The Apprenticeship is open to anyone whose role relates to Environmental Health and  needs to be supported by their employer who can fund studies through the Apprenticeship Levy scheme or via the co-funding route (with Government contributing 95% of the training and assessment costs).

Recently, the University celebrated four years of providing Degree Apprenticeships, helping to plug skills gaps in key industry sectors across the region and further afield.

The University opened its Apprenticeship Hub four years ago and, since then, has welcomed over 900 Degree Apprentices onto programmes, growing its work based learning of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships with growth at more than 250% since opening.

Faculties now offer 17 Higher and Degree Apprenticeships and the University works with over 350 employers and local authorities including Telford & Wrekin, Dudley, Walsall, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Sandwell Councils, public and private health care providers such as the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, Walsall NHS Trust and Priory Group as well as a number of small and medium sized employers.

Anyone wanting to find out more about how Degree Apprenticeships can benefit employees and business, check out this page on the website: www.wlv.ac.uk/naw2021.

ENDS

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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