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Celebrating our staff apprentice success for National Apprenticeship Week (3-9 February)

At the start of National Apprenticeship Week the University can reveal the number of degree apprenticeships has grown by hundreds in just over three years.

To mark this week, we are celebrating our first staff apprentices to complete their programmes and the progress made by those still studying.

There are currently 115 staff members on apprenticeships in a range of vocational specialisms, including accounting, data analyst, project manager, plumbing, electrical, leadership and management and academic professional.

Our first three apprentices, who started in autumn 2017, have completed their apprenticeships and have progressed to a range of different roles.

Paige Cowlishaw, Central Administrator in the Degree Apprenticeship Office

Paige Cowlishaw has been appointed to a permanent position and has progressed to the level 4 Apprenticeship in Business and Professional Administration.

Paige said: “I am so happy with how my journey has taken me and am so grateful for the opportunity the apprenticeship has given me. I am now looking forward to seeing where the future takes me!”

Marcus Pockney, Apprentice Technician in Medical Microbiology at the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Marcus has completed his End Point Assessment achieving a Distinction for his apprenticeship. He hopes to apply for a permanent position as a technician, ideally at the University.

Marcus said: “In providing the opportunity to gain these qualifications alongside full time employment, the apprenticeship has been both challenging and rewarding.”

Marcus is grateful for “the brilliant support network, and the opportunity to learn techniques and use pieces of equipment that would have otherwise been unavailable to me”.

He is an advocate of apprenticeships as a way of accessing a new career. “I feel very grateful to have had this opportunity, and I would wholeheartedly recommend an apprenticeship to anyone considering a career change, or looking to learn while they work. Overall, it has allowed me to grow as a person, greatly improving my confidence, time-management and interpersonal skills, which will prove invaluable as I look to further my career.”

Sophie Musto, Apprentice Administrative Assistant in Research and Innovation Services (RIS)

Sophie is currently working towards her Business Administration apprenticeship whilst working in RIS. The apprenticeship has provided Sophie with a platform to start her career. She said: “Following my graduation from university, I was unsure of what to do regarding employment. I came across an advertisement for an apprenticeship at the University and was instantly inspired and ready to learn on the job, study and gain experience for the future.”

Sophie joined the team in RIS in March 2019 and said: “My skills and confidence in the workplace have improved dramatically. I have gained experience of vital administrative skills that will help me in a variety of different employment opportunities in the future. This experience has been an important step in my future career plans.”

Olga Llewellyn, Sophie’s line manager and Department Manager at RIS, said: “By employing an apprentice you get a chance to give somebody their first experience of a workplace; you get a blank canvas that you can fill with skills and experiences that are important for your department, and instill in them the culture and values that are important in your team.”

Recruit an apprentice

There are currently over 500 apprenticeship standards from level 2 (equivalent to GCSE A*-C) through to level 7 (equivalent to Master’s Degree) in a range of occupations, from accountants to systems engineers to data analysts. Apprentices receive training from specialist training providers and gain cutting edge industry knowledge and skills. Apprenticeships support businesses to grow their own talent and provide opportunities to members of the local community to reach career aspirations.

Managers who are considering recruiting an apprentice in their area should contact the HR Apprenticeship Team at

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