The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has joined with Blackburn-based educational charity Training 2000 Limited, one of the largest Group Training Associations in the UK.
This new strategic alliance looks set to position UCLan as the largest provider of degree apprenticeships in the region and is the latest in a number of partnerships, designed to broaden the University’s portfolio and appeal, meet its commitment to widening participation and strengthen its position as the leading provider of the region’s skills and employment needs.
UCLan Vice-Chancellor Mike Thomas said: “This partnership consolidates our objectives as a leading University to support the regional economy and transform the lives of our communities. The combination of Training 2000’s specialist understanding of the apprenticeship market, and their 50-year history of working in partnership with industry, alongside our research expertise and reputation for world-class academic provision, creates a unique offer for businesses to access.”
The Apprenticeship Levy was introduced in April of this year, and is applicable to all businesses with a payroll of more than £3million per annum. Businesses investing in the provision of apprenticeships for their current workforce or new starters can off-set this against the levy payment, making degree apprenticeships a very attractive option.
Dr Lynne Livesey, who will take over as Chair of T2000 alongside her current portfolio as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), said: “The University has been creating work-ready graduates since 1828, and we’re now engaged with a huge range of employers eager to develop tailored apprenticeships to upskill and enhance the workforce, grow their businesses and gain a competitive edge. Our existing apprenticeship provision covers a wide range of areas, including healthcare, digital, policing, construction, engineering, professional services and management, and with the significant experience and outstanding reputation of T2000 we expect to expand this rapidly.
"This partnership consolidates our objectives as a leading University to support the regional economy and transform the lives of our communities."
“We’re keen to hear from organisations who would like to gain highly-skilled employees with the right mix of academic credentials and relevant practical skills. This news clearly sends out the right message - UCLan is open for business when it comes to Degree Apprenticeships and this acquisition will enable us to fully realise our ambitions in this area.”
Chief Executive of Training 2000 Steve Gray is positive about the future of the educational partnership, which meets the strategic Horizon Plan ambitions of Training 2000.
He commented: “Partnering with a University with such a diverse portfolio is highly exciting for us and will accelerate our strategy and development of the broader pathways for apprenticeship qualifications, culminating in graduate and post-graduate Degree Apprenticeships, and other training provision. We’re looking forward to seeing what the future holds and exploring the ongoing possibilities of this strategic alignment.”
Chair of the University Board David Taylor, who is also a member of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), sees this news as beneficial for the region. He said: “This is an extremely positive move for both our regional University and business communities.
“Our model of Working in Partnership with employers to understand skills needs and develop bespoke provision creates the work-ready graduates needed to boost the local economy. This approach completely aligns with the skills strategy of the LEP and can only be of benefit to our communities, in terms of creating employment, economic impact and ongoing inward investment. Furthermore, degree apprenticeships can offer a route into University education for those who feel that a traditional degree route is unaffordable and we see development of these pathways as a critical part of our access to higher education offer.”
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