University announces suite of new apprenticeships to bolster key services in the West Midlands and beyond

Birmingham City University has announced a suite of new degree apprenticeships aimed at bolstering key services in the West Midlands and beyond.

The University is launching three new courses which allow apprentices to earn while they learn in key sectors including healthcare, construction and fire safety. 

The announcement comes during National Apprenticeship Week, (8-14 February) which celebrates the role of apprenticeships for careers and industries across the UK.  

Courses have been designed to provide an alternative pathway into key careers which allow learners to be equipped with a degree qualification as well as on-the-job training at the end of their apprenticeship.  

The trio of new apprenticeships announced this week are:  

·    Operating Department Practice: A three-year work-based, integrated degree, which allows those already working within an operating theatre to become an Operating Department Practitioner. Operating Department Practitioners are health professionals who work across the three main areas of the operating theatre – anaesthetics, surgery and recovery – and they provide care to patients at all stages of their operation, from when they arrive, are treated and then discharged.  

The apprenticeship has been developed in collaboration with employers within the region and beyond and complies with the Health & Care Professions Council’s (HCPC) Standards of Education and Training which makes students on the apprenticeship degree eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC upon successful completion of the course. 

·   Fire Engineering:  Launched to compliment the Fire Engineering Degree being introduced at the University in September 2021. The apprenticeship will provide specialist, fire-related information across the built environment to protect people and property from the destructive effects of fire by applying science and engineering principles. Fire Safety Engineers identify risks and design safeguards to aid the prevention, control and mitigation of the effects of fire. Their role is to provide technical advice to develop design solutions within the built environment at various stages of projects. 

· Construction Site Management: Aimed at those who are associated with the management of building construction projects, based on sites or in offices. The apprenticeship covers key subjects including planning and organising work, health and safety, quality management, sustainability, contractual and legal issues, commercial strategy and team development.  

Julie Quick, Course Leader for the Operating Department Practice course, said: “Operating Department Practitioners provide essential care to patients undergoing surgery. As such, they are vital members of the theatre team.”

“Our degree apprenticeship combines a broad mix of teaching with practice-based learning, thereby equipping the apprentice with the knowledge, skills and behaviour learned from hands-on experience.” Julie Quick

Mike Leonard, Visiting Professor in Construction and Manufacturing at Birmingham City University, said: Degree Apprenticeships are increasingly becoming the route of choice for students and employers.

“The opportunity to earn whilst you learn and secure a higher level degree qualification, supported by employers  and built around the skills required for a specific role, is invaluable. There is now a mountain of evidence to confirm the benefits they confer on workplace learners – such as enhanced career earnings, continued education and richer, more fulfilled working lives.”

The latest course announcement adds to Birmingham City University’s existing programme of apprenticeships, which is made up of nearly 1,000 learners making it one of the region’s leading universities for apprenticeships.

Current apprenticeships offered by the University include: 

·       Assistant Practitioner in Health

·       Broadcast Engineering

·       Chartered Surveyor 

·       Chartered Manager 

·       Rehab Work Visual Impairment 

·       Postgrad Engineer 

·       Embedded Electronic Systems Design and Development Engineer 

·       Manufacturing Engineer 

·       Aerospace Engineer 

·       Architect 

·       Internal Audit Professional 

·       Nursing Associate 

·       Registered Nurse 

·       Operating Department Practitioner 

·       Advanced Clinical Practitioner 

·       Senior Leader 

Students are working with organisations including the BBC  and Mercedes Benz Financial Services Ltd.

Birmingham City University is a practice based institution with a long-standing history of developing strong relationships with employers and professional bodies, to benefit its students.

For more information on the University’s apprenticeships please visit: www.bcu.ac.uk/apprenticeships.