The first cohort of Civil Engineering Degree apprentices have started at the University of Derby.
Eleven people, currently employed in road, rail, water, and infrastructure management, have started the course, which aims to give apprentices on-the-job training alongside degree level academic learning.
The government introduced an Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017 requiring employers with a wage bill over £3 million each year to pay a levy charged at a rate of 0.5%, to fund new apprenticeships.
The Civil Engineering Degree Apprenticeship is one of seven offered by the University of Derby in subject areas including Cybersecurity, Aerospace Engineering, Healthcare, and Leadership and Management, to help the government achieve its ambition of having three million apprentices in the UK by 2020.
Angela Dean, University Professor of Engineering Leadership at the University of Derby, said: “The College of Engineering and Technology has a long history of running part-time civil engineering undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in collaboration with employers such as multinational engineering firms AECOM and Severn Trent PLC.
“The Civil Engineering Degree Apprenticeship is an exciting opportunity for academic and technical staff to work more closely with employers to enable their apprentices to gain the technical knowledge, practical experience and wider skills they need for their immediate job and future career and to enhance Derby and the East Midland’s economy.”
The Civil Engineering Degree Apprenticeship curriculum has been designed to reflect the latest developments in civil, structural, geotechnical, hydraulic, surveying and transport infrastructure engineering within the construction and service industry so that graduates will gain cutting-edge skills.
The University has invested more than £12 million in industry-focused laboratories, including those dedicated to structures, geotechnics, hydraulics, concrete and materials testing, with substantial equipment used in advanced geomatic surveying.
Apprentices on the Civil Engineering Degree will study the course for a minimum of four years and are expected to attend the University on a day release basis for 28 days each year supported by e-learning modules during the summer.
Alex Johnson, who works for Robinsons Construction and is on the Civil Engineering Degree Apprenticeship at Derby, said: “Having the opportunity to study a degree course with both the support from the University and my employer through the apprenticeship scheme is both reassuring and motivating for my future career and skill developments.”
The University of Derby offers apprenticeships from levels 2- 6, with level 7 under development to be delivered in September 2018, working with a number of high profile businesses including Rolls Royce, NHS and exclusively with the Institute of Quarrying to develop the workforce and to shape the future of their organisations.
Warren Manning, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean for the College of Engineering and Technology, added: “These degree apprenticeships play a vital role in ensuring the UK has the skill force to deliver higher productivity across the sector.”
A second cohort of the Civil Engineering Degree Apprenticeship is due to start in September 2018.