Grow your own workforce 

October 3, 2018

Degree apprenticeships are becoming one of the fastest-growing routes for employers to grow the skills base of their workforce and attract new talent…

Teesside University offers a range of degree apprenticeships, giving companies the opportunity to ensure that their staff are getting the skills needed to grow their business, while employees can earn while they learn.

Like traditional apprenticeships, degree apprenticeships are co-designed with employers and bring together the best of higher education and vocational on-the-job training.

Apprenticeship levy-paying employers (those with pay bills over £3m) pay for apprenticeship training from their online levy accounts via the government’s apprenticeship service. They will also receive a ten per cent Government top-up to their online accounts. Non-levy payers pay only ten per cent of the cost of apprenticeship training, with the remaining 90 per cent being paid by the Government.

Building the next generation of senior managers
An innovative partnership between Teesside University and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) is helping to build the next generation of leaders through a new entrepreneurial degree apprenticeship programme.

The MBA Degree Apprenticeship is a flagship programme for Teesside University Business School that places entrepreneurial leadership at its heart. Aimed at current and aspiring leaders with experience in management, it allows students to combine work with studying for an internationally-recognised business qualification.

The course provides a platform for professional senior managers to challenge themselves and drive innovative entrepreneurial leadership thinking and practice back into their respective organisations at a strategic level.

Teesside University has worked closely with the CMI to develop the curriculum and dual-accredit the programme to deliver the skills and knowledge employers are looking for.

Helen Watts, relationship manager at the CMI, says: “We have worked closely with colleagues in the Business School to develop the curriculum and ensure that the MBA programme maps across to the CMI programme. The dual accreditation means that students will graduate not only with a great MBA from Teesside University, but also receive a Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Leadership and Management and the potential to be awarded Chartered Manager, the highest status available in the management and leadership profession.”

Noel Dennis, principal lecturer and programme leader for the MBA, adds: “In working closely with the CMI, we have developed a programme that meets the needs of employers and allows its students to take the knowledge they acquire straight back into the workplace.”

Students on the MBA Degree Apprenticeship at Teesside benefit from access to the CMI resources, such as the online resource portal and the CMI membership from the moment they commence the programme.

The first cohort of students began their studies in June and the group includes management professionals from a range of different organisations, including the NHS, Cummins, Everyone Active and Oceaneering International Services.

Martin Miles, area manager for Everyone Active, manages 25 leisure centres across North East England on behalf of local authorities. He decided to study locally to meet other like-minded business leaders within the region and the campus environment really attracted him.

He comments: “I’m looking for a more strategic vision to help me manage the business and move it forward. I like that I have the flexibility to study online or at home while working full-time.”

Samuel Lind, international operations manager at Utilitywise PLC, adds: “The most attractive thing about the MBA programme at Teesside University is that the course is very practical – it’s all about what you are doing in your current role and what you can take back to your role to make a real practical difference.”

Graduation success for healthcare staff
A major healthcare provider is reaping the benefits of an apprenticeship partnership with Teesside University.

Staff members from BMI Healthcare, the UK’s largest independent hospital network, were among the first cohort to graduate from the University’s new Assistant Practitioner Higher Apprenticeship qualification.

A total of 143 graduates celebrated the completion of the new qualification at the University’s 2018 graduation ceremony.

Among those were nine members of staff from BMI Healthcare who have had training delivered on BMI premises by academics from Teesside University.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, described the importance of apprenticeships when he set out his priorities for the NHS, citing ‘workforce’ as top of the list.

Jenny McKnight, head of people development at BMI Healthcare, says: “We seek to ensure that all apprenticeships within BMI Healthcare are aligned to those achieved by NHS colleagues, so as to enable smooth transition and sharing of skills across the public and independent sectors.

“This, we believe, is in the best interests of both patient care and safety and of career development across the healthcare landscape in the UK.”

The Assistant Practitioner apprenticeship has been developed in conjunction with senior managers and employers to meet the education and training needs of care support workers.

The two-year course enables students to promote person-centred care in a diverse range of health and care settings and enhance the underpinning rationale of their current practice.

Leon Gates, a BMI Healthcare Assistant Practitioner graduate from South Dorset, says: “It’s been a lot of work but really helpful. The qualification means we can work with a lot more autonomy and if we want to go further in our careers, into areas such as nursing, it gives us the foundation to do that.”

Linda Nelson, Associate Dean (Enterprise and Business Engagement) in the School of Health & Social Care, adds: “It’s been really exciting to see our first group of Higher Apprentices graduate.

“We’re delighted that we’ve been able to work with employers to develop this qualification which meets their workforce requirements. The knowledge and skills acquired while studying the Assistant Practitioner higher apprenticeship will have a real impact on the quality of patient care across the country.”

Teesside University
Teesside University offers a range of higher and degree apprenticeships and is continually adding more opportunities as new national standards become available. For more information, visit:

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