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National Apprenticeship Week – a celebration

National Apprenticeship Week logo

As National Apprenticeship Week 2019 comes to an end, The Open University looks back on a special few days in which we celebrated how we have “blazed a trail” with our employer partnerships.

We are working with over 300 employers to deliver successful higher and degree apprenticeship programmes. Apprentices are making great contributions to businesses around the UK and we shared insights from our partnerships in delivering the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship programme with IBM, Travis Perkins, Barnardo’s and Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust.

In nursing, we heard the stories of Leigh, Anthony and Sarah who are fulfilling their potential on the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship and helping Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust improve its service to patients.

At Milton Keynes University Hospital we found out how Robson Grant is already adding value to digital transformation projects and making a difference to patient outcomes through the Digital and Technology Solutions Professional Degree Apprenticeship.

In Scotland, we supported Scottish Apprenticeship Week and had wonderful feedback from the Scottish Ambulance Service on our graduate apprenticeships.

The Open University has a commitment to creating staff learning and development opportunities that meet the needs of industry, and which are also responsive to skills shortages and align with Scottish Government priorities.

John Baker
ICT General Manager

In Wales, we celebrated our partnership with online software provider, Dezrez, where the first apprentices are starting the Applied Software Engineering Degree Apprenticeship at the company.

The Open University at 50 - Why apprenticeships are part of the next chapter

This year’s National Apprenticeship Week also falls during The Open University’s 50th year. We marked our rich heritage of work-based learning and our proven track record of working with employers to help their staff reach their potential and benefit society.

Opening up education for all through degree apprenticeships

We also looked at how The Open University has championed lifelong learning and social mobility and how that ethos helps deliver successful apprenticeship programmes. Apprenticeships give employees from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to take their career in a new direction – with The Open University ideally placed to provide the support and guidance throughout the programme to both the apprentices and the organisation.

National Apprenticeship Show

On the road - spreading the word

Our team also went to Sandown Park to exhibit at the National Apprenticeship Show - London and South East England. We met with employers and potential apprentices to talk about the benefits of our programmes and how they help both new and existing employees fill skills gaps in organisations.

Apprenticeship webinar

Employer webinar

We wrapped up our activities with a special webinar on Thursday hosted by The Open University’s Director of Employer Engagement, Phil Kenmore. In this informative session entitled: Blaze a trail by investing in apprenticeships, Phil went through some of the skills shortages which are adversely affecting the UK economy and business performance. He explained how apprenticeships were a win-win solution for organisations that are looking to invest in growing their own talent to increase retention and engagement and future-proof their business. In this busy session, there were audience questions throughout – answered by Angela Gill, The Open University’s Apprenticeship Development Manager.

The session closed with a case study from Anne Ashworth, Head of Pearson Employee Apprenticeships, who explained how Pearson was making a success of apprenticeships, before both Phil and Anne expanded further on the audience’s questions.

If you’d like to find out how The Open University can help your organisation with higher and degree apprenticeships, contact us today.

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