Degree Apprenticeships: the best option for a successful career

Nearly 200 employers, Higher Education Institutions, and degree apprenticeships joined today’s online event to celebrate the success of employer-accredited Tech Industry Gold degree apprenticeships.

Gillian Keegan MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, set the scene with an inspiring story of her own degree apprenticeship and the impact this had on her life opportunities. She explained how it set her up for not only for her business career but also gave her the tools and an approach to make the successful later move into politics. Her key message was that a degree apprenticeship will power your career for life – a sentiment fully endorsed by the employers, universities, and degree apprentices who went on to speak at the event.
Jenny Taylor of IBM said she couldn’t imagine a better start than a degree apprenticeship for any young person when she talked as part of an Employer Panel which also included Mark East of CGI and Paul Dorey, owner of SME Aspidistra, chaired by Liz Gorb of Manchester Metropolitan University. Paul said he couldn’t recommend the programme more highly and Mark talked about how it is helping to address the gender imbalance by attracting more women into tech roles.
This was followed by an Academic Panel, chaired by Yogesh Chauhan of TCS, comprising Laura Burley from the Open University, Paul Kooner-Evans from the University of Chichester, Robbie White from BPP University, and Huw Evans from the University of Exeter. All described the value of industry accreditation, with Robbie explaining how the wider perspective from being part of the Tech Industry Gold community directly helps the continual improvement of their offering.
The final panel, of degree apprentices themselves, was chaired by Rafik Ishani from Deloitte and included Michelle Geti of Broadridge and Queen Mary University London, Molly Peeters of Sepura and Anglia Ruskin University, Howard Jackson of IBM and Manchester Metropolitan University and Rob Halliwell of Yorkshire Building Society and Leeds Beckett University. They all shared their experiences, from why they chose a degree apprenticeship to the impact of studying and working during the pandemic. A common theme was their enthusiasm for the learning style of the degree apprenticeship, with its focus on solving real problems and the practical application of academic work.
The final session of the event was the presentation of certificates of merit for degree apprentices whose notable achievements ranged from innovation in creating Covid-19 solutions for the NHS, to applying AI to increase donations to a children’s charity, to demand modelling for an ambulance service.  The awards included, for the first time, those on the new MSc Digital & Technology Solutions Specialist degree apprenticeship and BSc Cyber Security Professional degree apprenticeship as well as the popular BSc Digital & Technology Solutions Professional degree apprenticeship.

Recognition for degree apprentices

The following were the worthy recipients of Certificates of Merit:

  • Thomas Dowell of Arcus Global Limited and Anglia Ruskin University
  • Dan Cotton of Capgemini and Aston University
  • Tara Phillips of Fylde Borough Council and Blackpool and The Fylde College
  • Fammi Khanom of Virgin Money and BPP University
  • Rob Halliwell of Yorkshire Building Society and Leeds Beckett University
  • Jamie Edge of Barclays and Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Sarah Brisco of Manchester City Council and Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Tom Amer of Unilever and the Open University
  • Harry Hawkins of the NHS and QA/University of Roehampton
  • Helen Charlotte Law of the John Lewis Partnership and Queen Mary University of London
  • Divesh Gokool of BT and Ravensbourne University
  • Jack Hicks of Network Rail and Sheffield Hallam University
  • Alexander Hague of Nottinghamshire Health Informatics Service (NHIS) (Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) and Staffordshire University
  • Gareth Leech of Springfields Nuclear Fuels and the University of Central Lancashire
  • Charlie Bailey-Wicks of SSE and the University of Chichester
  • Jordan Wathen of Accenture and the University of East London
  • Andy Mayne of South West Ambulance and the University of Exeter
  • Andrew Carr of Cumbria Constabulary and the University of Gloucestershire
  • Thomas Murphy of Ford and the University of Greenwich
  • Michael Jones of Metaswitch and the University of Hertfordshire
  • Peter Armsby of BT and the University of Suffolk
  • Joe Hunter of Accenture and the University of Sunderland
  • William Rickerby of HCL and the University of West London
  • Sam Webb of Tekever and the University of Winchester
  • Charlie Ford of Sedgemoor District Council and Weston College/University of the West of England

Special thanks are due to Phil Smith, CBE, who acted as Master of Ceremonies, and to Cisco for their support with Webex.

Find out more about Tech Industry Gold accredited Degree Apprenticeships