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University celebrates “Good” report on apprenticeships from Ofsted

Apprenticeships at University of Gloucestershire have received a “Good” rating on all aspects in their first inspection by Ofsted, with inspectors highlighting the strength of relationships with employers and the positive impact on learners’ careers.

Ofsted carried out their first full inspection of the University’s higher and degree apprenticeship programmes in February.  The University’s portfolio of apprenticeships – all at higher education and degree level – has grown substantially in recent years, rising from 40 in 2016 to more than 900 apprentices this year.

The latest available data shows that University of Gloucestershire is by far the largest provider of higher and degree apprenticeships in Gloucestershire and one of the largest providers in the South West.

The University will increase its range of apprenticeship standards on offer to over 20 in 2022/23 (see full list below).  The main focus is on business, marketing and financial services; computing, cyber and engineering; and nursing, allied health professions and social work. 

The qualifications achieved by apprentices through their programmes range from Certificates of Higher Education at Level 4 through BA and BSc Honours Degrees at Level 6, to Masters Degrees at Level 7.  All of the University’s apprenticeship programmes are designed and delivered in close partnership with employers, to meet employers’ skills needs and support learners in developing their professional skills and careers.

The Ofsted inspectors praised the academic and pastoral support on offer for learners, and how the University works with local and regional agencies to ‘ensure that the University helps to contribute to meeting regional skills needs in areas such as health, business and cyber security’.

They also highlighted the success of the University working alongside employers to co-design a curriculum ‘that enables apprentices to develop the professional skills, knowledge and behaviours to help them achieve their career ambitions and meet their employers’ needs’.

The University delivers apprenticeships with and for organisations ranging from micro-businesses up to leading employers including Superdry, Serco, Virgin Atlantic, Dyson, EDF Energy, and the NHS.

Apprenticeship programmes can be tailored to meet individual business needs and both businesses and apprentices are able to access the University’s excellent facilities and support services.

Stephen Marston, University of Gloucestershire Vice-Chancellor, said: “The University is tremendously proud that our apprenticeships have been rated “Good” on all aspects by Ofsted.

“The University has made a strategic investment to build an apprenticeships portfolio which meet the skills needs of employers and the career development ambitions of learners in our community. 

“We are committed to apprenticeships as a great way of delivering Higher Education and degree level education and training. 

“They offer an alternative route to allow learners to gain the skills and qualifications that employers are looking for. And they give the University a way of working closely with our employer partners on the design and delivery of programmes.

“Colleagues across the University have worked extremely hard to create these apprenticeships, and it is great to see those efforts rewarded by this positive endorsement from Ofsted, judged against their demanding standards and quality expectations.

“This gives us a strong platform for further improvement and growth, working with existing and new employers and learners to meet their needs.”

You can read the Ofsted report here.

You can find out more about the full range of apprenticeships here.