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Vice-Chancellor urges government not to lose faith in apprenticeships

Prof Jane Longmore

UNIVERSITY of Chichester Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane Longmore has called on the government to continue investing in higher and degree apprenticeships in England, amid concerns raised by the press about their longevity.

Writing in the Times Higher Education, Prof Longmore laid out the importance of apprenticeships to UK employers, including key public-sector services such as the NHS and Police. She also argued that restricting access, as suggested by some thinktanks reports, would be counterproductive.

“English apprenticeships are an educational and productivity success story,” said Prof Longmore, who was writing in her role as chair of the University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC), which represents around 90 higher education institutions.

There are currently more than 100 institutions approved to deliver apprenticeships. Within that figure, 29 universities are helping 500 people undertake higher-level apprenticeships, eight had more than 1,000, and there are smaller universities where apprentices will soon equate to a quarter of their annual student intake.

The University of Chichester is one of those institutions leading the way for degree apprenticeships, with nearly 200 students across ten programmes in engineering, social work, teaching, digital marketing, and business management.

While English apprenticeships will likely change in the foreseeable future, argues Prof Longmore, the government must “base them on evidence, implement them gradually, and make sure they enhance rather than undermine what has already been achieved.”

Read the Times Higher Education article in full at www.timeshighereducation.com/opinion/dont-break-englands-apprenticeship-system-misguided-fixes.