Skip to main content

Thursday 12 March 2015

A possible introduction of higher and degree apprenticeships

Southampton Solent University is looking forward to building on its partnership with Balfour Beatty as the company confirms its commitment to recruiting a first year total of 80 ‘Higher and Degree’ apprentices.


The apprentices will be the first cohort to benefit from the new ‘Trailblazer Higher and Degree Apprenticeships’ developed by a consortium led by Balfour Beatty. The University is one of 12 educational institutions able to deliver these exciting new qualifications.

John Barfoot, Academic Leader (Built Environment) for the University’s Maritime and Technology faculty, says: “This new qualification is based around our current HNC and accredited part-time degrees and offers a perfect alternative to full time education for students.

“We are impressed with the way the team has designed the qualification so that the education element dovetails with the part-time current academic provision.

“Southampton Solent has many years’ experience in the delivery of part-time professional courses and is committed to the delivery of Higher and Degree apprenticeships.

“From September this year, the University will be one of the first in the UK to offer Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship and Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship across a variety of construction-related disciplines.”

The University’s expertise in developing apprenticeship degrees is certainly not restricted to the construction industry as Professor Suzanne Dixon, Head of School in Writing and Comms, explains: “We put in a bid to be part of the apprentice scheme for the creative industry through Skillset Sector Skills council and became the lead partner.

“We are currently developing trailblazer higher degrees in journalism, advertising and, more recently public relations.

“At the moment these are offered as accelerated two-year degrees because the competencies need to be carefully evaluated to ensure they meet the demands of the degree.

“We have worked with newspaper editors and creative agencies to develop this new and exciting initiative, and have been pleased with the support we have received  from advertising and public relation’s agencies and newspaper groups. We look forward to welcoming our first students in September 2015.”

Professor Georgina Andrews, Director of Southampton Solent Business School, represented the University at a meeting chaired by Lord Young at 10 Downing Street last month to discuss the development of a national, employer-led leadership and management chartered degree apprenticeship with integrated CMI recognition.

Professor Jane Longmore, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), concludes: “Southampton Solent University has been committed to the apprenticeship agenda for five years and has developed higher and degree apprenticeships across its portfolio in close partnership with local and national employers.

“We view degree apprenticeships as an entirely complementary part of our applied curriculum and as a significant professional route for our current and future students.”