UWE Bristol Apprenticeship: Meet the academic – Karina Stewart

Posted on

In this Meet the Academic, we caught up with Karina Stewart, Associate Head of Department (Subject Lead for Healthcare Science) to talk about her experiences of apprenticeships.

Karina teaches on the following apprenticeships:

  • Healthcare Science (Physiological Sciences) Practitioner Training Programme
  • Healthcare Science (Clinical Engineering) Practitioner Training Programme
  • Healthcare Science (Medical Physics Technology) Practitioner Training Programme

Thinking about your engagement with apprentices, what are the main benefits you can see for someone thinking about becoming a Higher or Degree apprentice?

This is an excellent way of gaining a recognised, vocational qualification whilst earning a salary. The programme of apprenticeships in Healthcare Science (from Level 2 to 7) provides a structured training and career progression pathway. The range of apprenticeships are accessible to anyone, at any age. At UWE we offer Level 6 (degree-level) apprenticeships in a range of Healthcare Science specialisms.

As with all apprenticeships, what you learn in your modules at UWE is directly applicable to the job you do in the workplace. As you progress with your academic and workplace training you become more proficient in your role and more able to contribute to your department and service in general. At the end you have a recognised, formal Batchelor of Science (BSc) qualification that offers great career prospects.

What role do you think Higher and Degree apprenticeships have towards widening access and participation within Higher Education, and the benefits for the local economy?

Higher and degree apprenticeships give people the opportunity to access and participate in education that might otherwise have been unavailable or inaccessible to them. So they really help to create a more ‘level playing field’ in this respect. These schemes can be used by anyone at any age to upskill or retrain at any point in their career, as well as being accessible to school/college leavers.

There is evidence that higher and degree apprenticeships promote local economic growth in a number of ways. For trainees, they offer greater employment and career prospects, and hence higher life-time salary levels. For employers, they enable growth and upskilling of the workforce, which leads to higher levels of productivity.

What do you see as the role of apprenticeships in UWE Bristol and beyond in the future?

Apprenticeships are relatively new at UWE, but I am sure are here to stay! We have increased our range of Healthcare Science programmes over the years, and the number of apprentices joining us each year continues to grow as more employers become aware of this training option.

UWE has always been at the forefront in terms of vocational education, and apprenticeships continue to align to the university’s strategy. Indeed, the focus of Strategy 2030 at UWE is ‘Transforming Futures’, through innovative and inclusive practice-led education that is accessible to all. With more employers accessing levy funding and more people becoming aware of apprenticeship training routes, demand for this form of education is ever increasing.

We are here to educate and train the workforce of the future. That has to be done in a sustainable way, in partnership with employers and other education providers. Exciting times!

Find out more about Apprenticeships at UWE Bristol.

UWE Bristol Apprenticeships: Meet the Academic

Posted on

In this Meet the Academic, we caught up with Nick Smith, Associate Head of Department, Geography and Environmental Management to talk about his experiences of apprenticeships.

Nick teaches on our Town Planning Degree Apprenticeship:

Thinking about your engagement with apprentices, what are the main benefits you can see for someone thinking about becoming a Higher or Degree apprentice?

Pursuing an apprenticeship provides a great opportunity for combining work and study together. Apprentices follow a programme of study that responds to the expectations for becoming professional planners, with the individual components of the programme collectively delivering the knowledge, skills and behaviours that employers are looking for.

Our town planning apprenticeship has been structured to offer flexibility to our learners, with two specific entry points providing an opportunity for past experience and qualifications to be properly recognised

What role do you think Higher and Degree apprenticeships have towards widening access and participation within Higher Education, and the benefits for the local economy?

There is a national shortage of planners at the moment and the need for planners has never been greater with planning being expected to respond, and deliver, against wide ranging contemporary challenges. The biggest of these is obviously the climate emergency.

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) is keen to increase the supply of planners but also to increase the appeal of the profession to the widest population possible.

The RTPI has a clear strategy for diversifying its membership and the apprenticeship scheme offers a real opportunity for delivering this. Already we have seen apprentices step forward and join the programme who might not have been able to do so if they were having to pay themselves.

What do you see as the role of apprenticeships in UWE Bristol and beyond in the future?

I hope that apprenticeship provision can continue to grow as it provides multiple benefits to both apprentices and our existing body of students. Having apprentices in-class alongside other learners provides a real opportunity for delivering the university’s ambitions for practice based learning.

It also provides some effective avenues for staff to become better engaged with practice and to hear about experiences from the front line.

Find out more about Apprenticeships at UWE Bristol.

UWE Bristol Apprenticeships: Meet the academic

Posted on

In this Meet the Academic, we caught up with Anne Eason, Associate Head of Department Policing to talk about her experiences of apprenticeships:

Thinking about your engagement with apprentices, what are the main benefits you can see for someone thinking about becoming a Higher or Degree apprentice?

The main benefits are firstly, that as it is a widening participation programme, so students who might not normally qualify through the UCAS process to apply for an undergraduate programme are able enjoy the benefits of higher education and vocational learning. The apprenticeship also provides on the job learning experience, providing the platform for safe operational learning as a student police officer. Not only does this give the student the opportunity embed their learning but also to reflect on how they can improve and development themselves and the service.

What role do you think Higher and Degree apprenticeships have towards widening access and participation within Higher Education, and the benefits for the local economy?

The widening participation benefits result in the police service being a truer representation of the local community, where police officers will share local culture and traditions and thus have a better understanding of the community they serve. This will ultimately support more effective interventions in crime prevention and crime reduction, facilitating socio-economic growth.

What do you see as the role of apprenticeships in UWE Bristol and beyond in the future?

I believe the apprenticeship provision at UWE Bristol will grow as more and more professions seek specialist knowledge skills and behaviours of future employees. UWE is proactive in diversifying its curriculum and responding to the needs of the local economy and public sector. The high standards of teaching and learning will undoubtedly attract future apprenticeship development and subsequent opportunities for people from all walks of life.

Find out more about Apprenticeships at UWE Bristol.

UWE Bristol Apprenticeships: Meet the Employer

Posted on

UWE Bristol offers of wide range of apprenticeship programmes and we regularly catch up with our apprentices to hear about their experiences.

In this Meet the Employer, we caught up with Mandy Knott, Learning and Development Manager for allpay.

How have apprenticeships supported your business? 

With a history of developing talent through our apprenticeship learning, allpay continues to invest in its grow-your-own people model. With significant progression as a business in the last 10 years influenced by bringing in, retaining, and promoting apprentices on a regular basis allpay has benefitted from a workforce steeped in both company and sector knowledge.
With C. 250 members of staff and circa 10% made up current and former apprenticeships, allpay benefits from a wealth of talent, curiosity, and the ability to work together collaboratively to bring to life the mission and vision daily.

At entry level many apprentices go on to win awards with their training providers demonstrating a true desire to develop themselves and allpay.
The introduction of the apprenticeship standards and the stretch into higher and degree apprenticeship has given allpay the ability to offer academic led vocational learning to develop our internal talent. This has added another element in supporting the allpay business to continue to grow its talented people. Adding value to the bottom line and increasing the capability at all levels.

What have you found to be the main benefits of apprenticeships to your business?

The key benefit, aside from seeing our team members develop and grow, is retention. As a business we can demonstrate a longevity of career through our entry level apprentices.

As our new apprentices join allpay they work with others across the business who either started their careers as apprentices or who are now developing their careers through apprenticeship training. It is inspiring for all within the business to see each person develop and grow in the career of their choosing.

What do you see as the main role of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships to prospective learners, thinking about their post-16 options? 

The option to ‘earn whilst you learn’ is significate when discussing prospects for individuals post-16. The world of work is changing significantly, the opportunity that apprenticeships give means we see many of our individuals adapt and grow throughout their career which is great.

Allowing a route to a Higher and Degree qualification through a vocational route will see many looking at this as an option post-16. It also opens this opportunity to those who previously thought a degree wasn’t available to them. With the cost of going to university being a barrier for many, this is a fantastic way for businesses to open higher education to all.

How will apprenticeships shape the future of your business? 

allpay will continue to be an advocate of apprentices and apprenticeship training. The value that new standards add across such a variety of business areas makes the opportunity to develop talent positive for us.

Accessing talent will continue to be a challenge for many businesses and we believe our support of apprenticeship training gives us an additional attraction lever.

Find out more about Apprenticeships at UWE Bristol.

UWE Bristol Apprenticeships: Meet the Employer

Posted on

UWE Bristol offers of wide range of apprenticeship programmes and we regularly catch up with our apprentices to hear about their experiences.

In this Meet the Employer, we caught up with Tiffany Jenkins, Apprentice Team Leader, Bristol City Council:

How have apprenticeships supported your business? 

Apprenticeships are key to our business and serving the community of Bristol. It is really important that we recruit new apprentices into our business across a variety of programmes, apprenticeships provide us with the opportunity to develop these individuals with the right skills and knowledge that our business needs. Apprentices benefit from gaining employment with us, they receive quality training and are able to showcase their knowledge and skills by building their portfolio of evidence and secure future job opportunities.

On the other aspect, apprenticeships have been widely used to develop our existing workforce across a variety of programmes to enhance their knowledge, skills and behaviours. This has motivated our workforce and enabled many of our employees to progress on their career path.

What have you found to be the main benefits of apprenticeships to your business?

Apprenticeships enable us to develop the talent of new and existing staff. We are fortunate to meet many people that are at the start of their career journey and the apprenticeship route provides them with a really great foundation into our business and skills that will last them a lifetime. At the same time, we develop talent that we need for now and the future.

Apprenticeships are also available to everyone and they have been a valuable mechanism in helping us to diversify our workforce to represent the diversity of Bristol.

What do you see as the main role of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships to prospective learners, thinking about their post-16 options? 

Apprenticeships are an option for everyone and there are increasingly more higher and degree options available to access and consider. We take on apprentices from level 2 to level 7 across a range of areas, these include business, accountancy, civil engineering, solicitor and most recently public health.

For anyone thinking about their options, do as much research as possible and attend as many events – as often at events, you will hear from people that have taken specific apprenticeships routes and they’ll provide you with their own experience and what opportunities or challenges they faced.

How will apprenticeships shape the future of your business? 

We will continue to develop our apprenticeship offer, we are consistently looking at what new apprenticeships could work within our local authority. Our aim is to increase our offer of apprenticeships to people of Bristol, especially people that are at the start of their career journey and in return, we’ll gain highly skilled and competent employees that we need for the future of our business.

Find out more about Apprenticeships at UWE Bristol.

UWE Bristol Apprentices Win at Society for Cardiological Science and Technology National Update Meeting

Posted on

Two UWE Bristol apprentices have been recognised for their achievements at The Society for Cardiological Science and Technology (SCST) National Update Meeting.

Agnieszka Sawicka and Bradley Cock, apprentices on the Healthcare Science Practitioner Training Programme at UWE Bristol, were both recognised for their achievements during the national meeting

Agnieszka was awarded the Rising Star award and Bradley received the Highest Certificate Exam Grade Nationally, scoring 98% in his exam.

Agnieszka commented:

I have been working as a Healthcare Assistant Scientist in Non-invasive Cardiology for 3,5 years prior to starting the apprenticeship. I had no clinical background at all and looking at ECGs was very confusing to me at first. I started getting signed off in various tests, and my number 1 priority was to understand the traces I was looking at. At first, I’ve achieved the SCST practical award and the Certificate, which is basic ECG interpretation. Unfortunately, due to Covid, I couldn’t go ahead with the Diploma exam.

That is when I decided to organise daily ECG teachings for my colleagues, and I enjoyed it a lot. I love teaching new staff and sharing my knowledge with everyone. My manager put me through the apprenticeship as a recognition for my work and how much passion I had for the job role. It is an amazing course; I am enjoying it greatly.

During my first block week,  I had the opportunity to show how passionate I am and that is when I was recognised for my work. Getting the award means so much to me, those years of hard work have paid off, and someone was able to recognise my passion for the job. It was a great start to 2022, and I hope it’s only the beginning of amazing achievements.

Karina Stewart, Associated Head of Department (Subject Lead for Healthcare Science) commented:

“We are incredibly proud of our Healthcare Science apprentice students. Completing a BSc degree in three years alongside a busy clinical job is no mean feat, and of course it has been all the more challenging over the past couple of years. So it is fantastic to hear of Agnieszka’s and Bradley’s achievements, and to know that they have been justly rewarded for their dedication and hard work.”

SCST is the professional body for those working in cardiac healthcare science. SCST membership demonstrates that an individual is committed to the highest standards of practice and professional conduct.

Congratulations to both students!

UWE Bristol supports over 2,000 apprentices

Posted on

UWE Bristol are delighted to announce that they have supported over 2000 apprentices through high quality apprenticeship training, across 20+ Apprenticeship Standards, including; Police Constable, Nuclear Science, Civil Engineers, Healthcare Science and Chartered Manager to name a few.

Higher and Degree apprenticeships combine on-the-job training with study for a higher-level qualification, giving you the skilled and knowledgeable workforce your business needs.

UWE Bristol, with its partner further education colleges, can provide apprenticeships that support clear progression routes from craft/technician level through to professional and postgraduate managerial qualifications.

UWE Bristol apprenticeships are suitable and tailored for a wide range of employers, across numerous sectors, industry and size.

Head of Apprenticeships, Simon Flenley Pond commented:

I’m thrilled that we have reached this incredible milestone.  The university is offering a range of apprenticeship provision that is clearly meeting the needs of employers and prospective apprentices in our region and beyond.  The expanse of our provision hits a variety of regional priorities, supporting industries that represent areas of high volume employer recruitment and skills agendas. 

We want to do more.  Our aim is to continually enhance our apprenticeship provision to support businesses in this region.  But beyond that, we want to use apprenticeships as a driver for change, and we recognise the importance that this provision plays in widening access and participation to Higher Education.  We are already seeing a number of programmes do this.  The feedback speaks for itself, where a number of apprentices acknowledge that without the apprenticeship pathway they have taken, a Level 5 or above qualification may not have been possible.  We also know our provision offers quality training and learning experiences.  Just this week alone, in National Apprenticeship Week 2022, three of our apprentices have been successful in winning national awards, and we want to keep playing a part in supporting these fantastic achievements.

My passion for apprenticeships and the role that they play is shared amongst my colleagues.  We want to hear form employers and from apprentices on what we can do next.  This provision is for you, and we understand your input and voice is essential to our growth.

Find out more about apprenticeships at UWE Bristol

National Apprentice Week 2022: Meet the Apprentice Latifah Salawu

Posted on

As part of National Apprentice Week 2022, we will be highlighting some of our Apprentices, Employers and Academics.

In this Meet the Apprentice, we caught up with Latifah Salawu, L6 Chartered Surveyor Apprentice working with Faithful+Gould:

What attracted you to becoming a Higher or Degree apprentice? 

I was attracted to becoming a Degree Apprentice through loving the idea of learning on the job and obtaining a degree / professional accreditation at the same time. Also, I was attracted to gaining practical skills within the workplace which I knew would benefit the early stages of my career. I always knew I wanted to do some form an apprenticeship rather than taking the academic route of going to university straight after completing my A Levels.

Thinking about your apprenticeship experience to date, what have been the main benefits to your career development? 

1. Being able to work alongside industry experts who can pass down their valuable knowledge
2. Working in different multi-disciplinary teams and having the options to move around to learn new things.
3. Studying towards my degree (learning the academic side of the industry to support my training and allow me to apply theoretical knowledge to my job.
4. Being able to complete my APC (assessment of professional competence) with the help of industry experts / senior staff who can guide me on decisions to best support my development and allow me to become a chartered surveyor.

What are the top three things you would recommend to someone thinking about becoming a Higher or Degree apprentice? 

1. Be yourself. I am happy to be employed by a really great company where they are supportive with not only your career but also your day to day activities, hobbies etc.
2. Plan exactly what you want to achieve out of the apprenticeship. For example, if you believe that there is something in particular you would like to get involved with, plan how this would benefit your career development but also your personal development and make this clear in your application / interview.
3. Be willing to learn. Being an apprentice requires learning all the time, shadowing other staff but also learning new processes and knowledge at university.

What are your future goals beyond completion of your apprenticeship? 

After completing my apprenticeship, I am hoping to be sitting my End Point Assessment and become a chartered surveyor. I also hope to work on new projects within the United Kingdom or Internationally.

Find out more about Apprentices at UWE Bristol.

National Apprenticeship Week: In Conversation with…

Posted on

As part of National Apprenticeship Week, our Head of Apprentices, Simon Flenley-Pond has been having conversations with our academics about the importance of apprenticeships and finding out what an apprenticeship at UWE Bristol is like.

Watch his conversations below:

National Apprenticeship Week 2022 Interview with David Barrett, Director of Apprenticeships
National Apprenticeship Week 2022 Interview with Ramin Amali, Faculty Director of Enterprise and Partnerships
National Apprenticeship Week 2022 Interview with Harriet Shortt, Associate Professor in Organisation Studies
National Apprenticeship Week 2022 Interview with Fiona Lawrence, Faculty Director of Workforce Transformation and Educational Partnerships
National Apprenticeship Week 2022 Interview with David Barrett, Director of Apprenticeships

Find out more about apprenticeships at UWE Bristol.

National Apprentice Week 2022: Meet the academic Wendy Fowles-Sweet

Posted on

As part of National Apprentice Week 2022, we will be highlighting some of our Apprentices, Employers and Academics.

In this Meet the Academic, we caught up with Wendy Fowles-Sweet, Professional and Workforce Development Director (School of Engineering).

Thinking about your engagement with apprentices, what are the main benefits you can see for someone thinking about becoming a Higher or Degree apprentice?

Work Experience to demonstrate competency, whilst developing the skills, behaviours and knowledge required.

The associated degree programme provides these, in conjunction with an education to broaden the individual’s experience. By learning from one another, individuals can develop the skills they need in the workplace, and how to network to continue to develop their skills.

However, the work experience element demonstrates that they can apply that learning to a given context and achieve a useful result. The context of this result may not always be in their specialist area; the skills they have gained from the degree level education can apply in a wide range of workplace activities. The individual is not just able, they can demonstrate their capability.

My interpretation of the three apprenticeship key words:

  • Intent – what are they learning to do
  • Implementation – actually using their learning on a particular activity / project
  • Impact – demonstrating that their learning can achieve the required end goal.

Of course, there is also the matter of being paid whilst studying part time!

What role do you think Higher and Degree apprenticeships have towards widening access and participation within Higher Education, and the benefits for the local economy?

If these are offered to school leavers correctly, they have the potential to be a major force in any local economy. The apprenticeship route allows many students access to higher education as their careers develop; the staged educational opportunity sometimes being something they had never considered themselves capable of achieving whilst working through the pre-18 / pre-16 education system.

However, this requires a lot of work to engage the schools, who would prefer to see leavers heading straight to university. In addition, employers need to see relevant examples about how taking on apprentices can benefit them.
Where the three aspects come together, higher and degree apprenticeships are a powerful force for further education.

What do you see as the role of apprenticeships in UWE Bristol and beyond in the future?

Apprenticeships should become a core offering by UWE. Our links to industry, business and the public sector, combined with our outreach activities can help us develop this.

The other aspect to consider is that if school leavers find out more about apprenticeships at all levels, they could find the offer of a salary whilst learning overrides the longer period of learning. This would impact the full time applications.

If employers want useful graduates and believe apprenticeships are the way forward, UWE must be ready to support this route s a core activity.

Back to top