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Sheffield universities partner to develop engineering skills

Published: Tuesday, 15 November 2016   Category: All Graduate Jobs News

Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield have announced a pioneering new degree-level apprenticeship programme to provide young people with engineering skills.

The universities were successful in a bid for financial backing from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to develop and launch the new programme, aimed at meeting the needs of employers within the area.

Degree apprenticeships, which will be jointly funded by employers and the Government, are designed to give young people the chance to study at university whilst getting real-life work experience.

The new programme will be the first cross-city university collaboration in engineering and takes advantage of the extensive engineering facilities they both offer.

From September 2017, 90 apprentices will begin to study for degrees in integrated, materials and rail engineering, eventually achieving professional accreditation alongside their employment. There will also be the opportunity to advance to study at master’s level.

The curriculum for the programme will be developed with the help of employers, and will use the latest learning technologies to help develop the students.

STEM graduates in high demand

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “Filling the skills gap in engineering is a crucial issue for the UK’s economy. Universities have an important part to play in developing this workforce that will play a key element in driving economic growth.”

The Royal Academy of Engineering has estimated that the UK needs an extra 50,000 STEM technicians and 90,000 STEM professionals every year just to replace people retiring from the workforce.

The Sheffield City Region independent economic review has highlighted high-value manufacturing as a sector with the potential to create high-value jobs and attract much needed inward investment to the region.

Increasing the standard of intermediate and high level skills required by the high-value manufacturing supply chain is key to supporting the creation of high-value jobs and increasing economic growth in the Sheffield City Region.

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