University launches Degree Apprenticeships for the Army

The British Army is offering its soldiers the chance to study for a university degree in management and leadership. The new initiative is part of the national Degree Apprenticeship scheme and delivered by the University of Portsmouth. Army image web

The Apprenticeship is aimed at the Army’s leaders of tomorrow. The programme builds on existing knowledge and experience gained on the job and supports the development of leadership and management skills, applying their academic studies to real work challenges.

Upon completion of the programme, soldiers will graduate with an Honours Degree in Leadership and Management, as well as gaining the prestigious Chartered Manager status – awarded by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

The Degree Apprenticeship starts with a week-long residential programme at the University of Portsmouth. Subsequently the course delivery has been designed so that soldiers can study wherever they are based in the world.  Lecturers will facilitate online discussions and host group online video conference sessions once a week to support soldiers’ progress.  Each soldier has an allocated Army mentor, who will closely support their learning and development. Mentors will also undergo a University-delivered mentor training package in order to prepare them for their role.

The University’s Nick Capon, Course Leader, who has adapted the programme specifically for the Army said that Degree Apprenticeships are ideal for employers who want to ‘up-skill’ their existing workforce and maximise the application of learning within the workplace.

He said: “The University of Portsmouth already has a well-established Degree Apprenticeship scheme so we were able to take this and tailor our delivery for soldiers who may well be on the other side of the world. The course focuses on well-written study guides as well as regular contact with lecturers, mentors and each other by email and web-based, video conferencing.

Soldiers will develop an in-depth knowledge of strategic management and leadership directly relevant to their role in the Army. It’s a fantastic opportunity for talented Army personnel who may not yet have a formal, degree-level qualification but have years’ worth of on-the-job practical experience in leadership and management.”

Degree Apprenticeships were introduced in 2015 as a way of increasing the number of people with specific knowledge, skills and behaviour required by UK employers. Students gain a degree, as well as developing skills valuable to the organisation.  Fees are subsidised by both the government and by employers.

The Army had an overwhelming response from soldiers wishing to participate in this programme. Limited to just 30 places in the first instance, individuals were chosen from across the Army representing a wide cross-section of ‘cap badges’ and trades from those who serve in the infantry to communication and logistic specialists, medics, engineers and equipment technicians.

Lieutenant Colonel Kate George who is responsible for the Army’s 44 Apprenticeship programmes said: “Soldiers working towards the management and leadership Degree Apprenticeship will bring real value into the Army; this scheme represents an investment by the Army in developing talented soldiers to meet management and leadership challenges – now and in the future.”

The Army’s Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship trial commences in January 2018.

ENDS

University of Portsmouth Media contact: Lisa Egan, lisa.egan@port.ac.uk 023 9284 2780

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