University backed to lead major construction sector apprenticeships project

05 December 2011

Business men on a construction site

Middlesex Uni Institute for Work Based Learning one of only two higher education institutions to receive funding

Middlesex University has been awarded nearly £1.5m from the Government's Higher Apprenticeships Fund, to develop Higher Level Apprenticeships in the construction industry.

The University, known for its expertise in work based learning, has worked with CITB-ConstructionSkills, the University Vocational Awards Council, employers and other partners to develop a Higher Apprenticeship framework and foundation degree for construction managers, set to meet the demand for progression routes for professionals completing craft level apprenticeships.

The funding will see the creation of networks of employers, colleges and training providers who will deliver the unique qualification, awarded by Middlesex University. A wide range of construction employers, including from the UK Contractors Group, are set to benefit from around 1200 Higher Apprenticeships as part of the project.

The award was announced by Business Secretary Vince Cable yesterday, as the Government detailed its plans to support thousands of apprenticeships up to degree level equivalent, helping employers, colleges and universities to deliver the advanced skills needed to grow the economy.

Dr Darryll Bravenboer Associate Dean at Middlesex University’s Institute for Work Based Learning believes Universities have a big part to play in developing apprenticeships: “Middlesex is one of only two universities to receive this funding and we’re ready to step up to the plate and demonstrate that higher education has a major role to play in boosting higher level skills in the workplace.”

“Through bodies like CITB-ConstructionSkills and the UK Contractors Group, industry experts have told us there’s a need for a qualification that will develop the thousands of additional operational managers their sector needs. This important career progression route hasn’t been available in the past through a formal apprenticeship and so we’re excited about working together to roll it out.”

Skills Minister John Hayes congratulated Middlesex University on receiving the funding saying: "Construction and civil engineering play a fundamental role in creating jobs and growth, and in tough times it is right for the Government and education providers to invest to develop the advanced skills firms need to prosper. By working with business to bring vocational learning onto a level playing field with academic study, Middlesex University is blazing a trail for others to follow."

Nick Gooderson Head of Education and Research at CITB-ConstructionSkills said: “The introduction of Higher Apprenticeships will provide young people with a very credible alternative to traditional HE entry into the construction sector at managerial level. CITB-ConstructionSkills is pleased to be assisting Middlesex University with this exciting project.”

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