Education secretary hails Sheffield Hallam’s degree apprenticeship provision as ‘ground-breaking’ during university visit

30th June 2023

The Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Gillian Keegan MP, has hailed Sheffield Hallam’s degree apprenticeship provision as ‘ground-breaking’ during a visit to the University.

Ms Keegan, who is herself a former apprentice, met a group of degree apprentices working for South Yorkshire businesses alongside their studies at Sheffield Hallam during her visit to the University.

She took part in a round table discussion with the apprentices who shared their experiences of undertaking a degree apprenticeship and what they think could be done to encourage other young people to choose a similar career path.

Ms Keegan was in Sheffield to take part in the Northern Powerhouse Education Employment and Skills Summit which was held at Sheffield Hallam University on Thursday 29 June. 

The Summit focused on unlocking the North’s potential with leaders from across the North coming together to address the regional divide in productivity, incomes, job creation, skills and work.

Sheffield Hallam is one of the largest providers of degree apprenticeships in the country, working with more than 570 local and national employers. Its portfolio has been co-designed in partnership with employers and regional policymakers to help to address skills gaps in the local and national economy and promote social mobility.

There are currently more than 3,000 apprentices enrolled with the University on courses in health, digital, construction and management.

Almost half (45 per cent) of the University’s apprentices are from the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods, compared with the national average of 34 per cent. Many of Hallam’s apprentices are the first in their family to go to university and would not have accessed higher education without the programme. 

Secretary of State for Education Rt Hon Gillian Keegan MP said:

“We are serious about levelling up every region of the country and, as the only degree apprentice in the House of Commons, I know what a massive opportunity these ground-breaking courses can offer.

“It takes great universities like Sheffield Hallam, our trailblazing South Yorkshire Institute of Technology, and working with businesses across the UK to recognise and train up the talent of the future. That’s what I’ve seen here today.”

Sheffield Hallam University Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Chris Husbands said:

“We were delighted to welcome the Minister to Hallam and introduce her to some of our degree apprentices.

“Our growing portfolio across key sectors and the co-design of our degree apprenticeships with industry is helping to drive opportunity and success locally, regionally and nationally.” 

Degree apprenticeships are an alternative earn-and-learn route to a degree qualification, combining working with studying part-time at a university. Apprentices are employed throughout the programme and spend part of their time at university and the rest with their employer. 

Find out more about degree apprenticeships at Sheffield Hallam University.

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