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Degree Apprentice puts learning into practice at new healthcare centre

11/02/2021

A University of Wolverhampton Degree Apprentice has been building his skills for the future and putting his academic learning into practice by working on the new Marches Centre of Health Excellence.

The new £5 million Centre is based at the Telford Campus and will provide state-of-the-art training facilities for the next generation of key workers. With a contribution of £3.5m Growth Deal funding from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the new facilities will enable students to gain hands-on, real-life experience of the profession they will enter and ensure they have the skills and knowledge to benefit employers. 

Ben Harris, 21 from Wolverhampton, is studying for a Construction Management Degree Apprenticeship in the University’s School of Architecture and Built Environment, funded by his employer, Overbury, through the Apprenticeship Levy.

Ben, a trainee Project Manager, works on site as part of the wider team and his duties include meeting with sub-contractors and suppliers across mechanical, electrical, joinery, furniture and technology integration, as well as learning to manage health and safety practices.

He said: “Working on a University build project is a real bonus as there’s a tangible connection between my learning and my work.

“When I left college I knew I wanted to work within buildings but didn’t understand the options available within construction. I attended a work experience talk by Overbury and saw the opportunities available and it was then I realised that I really enjoyed the practical build, working with a team of people and understanding the complexities of completing a project to the highest of standards.

“There’s lots of support on offer, both at the University and at Overbury, and the work ethic and routine is really preparing me for a career post-graduation. The best part is the network of contacts I am gaining and also all the hand me down knowledge from the experts, it’s invaluable.

“The idea that I can study at University and gain a degree while also working towards my career with Overbury is amazing. It was never something I’d considered as an option leaving school and I can’t express how great it feels that an employer has put their belief in you and gives you an opportunity to progress.

“The Construction Management course is fantastic, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to come into project/construction management. They offer a chance to gain knowledge to bring into your day to day job and a chance to showcase your knowledge within the realistic assignments set.”

Chelsie Cull, HR & Early Careers Co-ordinator at Overbury, said: “We know that talented people are the key to our success. Degree Apprenticeships offer our early career employees the theory to support their careers whilst ensuring we are fit for the future.”

Ben is in his third year of the four year, part-time course.

This year, the 14th annual National Apprenticeship Week (#NAW2021) is running from Monday 8th February through to Sunday 14th February 2021 with the theme ‘BUILD THE FUTURE’ and the University of Wolverhampton is celebrating and showcasing the impact Apprenticeships have on communities, local businesses and regional economies.

Recently, the University celebrated four years of providing Degree Apprenticeships, helping to plug skills gaps in key industry sectors across the region and further afield.

The University opened its Apprenticeship Hub four years ago and, since then, has welcomed over 900 Degree Apprentices onto programmes, growing its work based learning of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships with growth at more than 250% since opening.

Faculties now offer 17 Higher and Degree Apprenticeships and the University works with over 350 employers and local authorities including Telford & Wrekin, Dudley, Walsall, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Sandwell Councils, public and private health care providers such as the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, Walsall NHS Trust and Priory Group as well as a number of small and medium sized employers.

Anyone wanting to find out more about how Degree Apprenticeships can benefit employees and business, check out this page on the website: www.wlv.ac.uk/naw2021.

ENDS

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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