The Higher and Degree Apprenticeship Team at De Montfort University (DMU) Leicester is always looking for opportunities to widen participation.
At Pathways Teacher’s Conference in November 2018, DMU provided a workshop for teachers and FE staff on how apprenticeships can be a positive route into higher education for FE school leavers. There was a myth busting session that broke out into a general seminar, with the DMU team sharing their experience and expertise with the group.
Pathways is the Leicestershire/Northamptonshire National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) branch working in collaboration with DMU, University of Leicester, Loughborough University, and University of Northampton.
Pathways runs various events for NCOP eligible students throughout the academic year to encourage disadvantaged students to consider higher education as an option for their future.
The teaching conference focused on the overarching theme of Gatsby Benchmarks/Careers. It explored how outreach activities meet Ofsted requirements and Gatsby benchmarks. There were sessions on the graduate labour market and guidance on how to build a stable careers programme.
It also provided great insight into how Higher and Degree Apprenticeships are viewed by FE providers as viable options for younger learners. Insight on how to better promote apprenticeships throughout the year, aligning to UCAS timeframes, and to further the joint offers provided from both training providers and employers alike.
The feedback from Pathways and those in attendance was greatly positive, and DMU welcomes the opportunity to be engaged in further events, looking to widen participation and interest in Higher and Degree Apprenticeships.
On Wednesday 28 November the Apprenticeship Team visited Countesthorpe Leysland Community College to give a presentation on Higher and Degree Apprenticeships and how they could serve as an alternative route into higher education.
There was a brief presentation, along with some video testimonials from apprentices currently on DMU programmes. This was followed by a Q&A led by the college students with topics such as: how to apply for each programme, what times of year do they start, and what types of Level 3 qualifications there are. The students were engaged and interested in how Higher and Degree Apprenticeships might benefit them in the future.
Colin Holmes from the college had this to say about the event:
“We found both the talk on Degree Apprenticeships and Alistair very captivating. Students were attentive and found all of the content highly useful, leading to positive conversations immediately after the presentation. I would strongly recommend this talk to any sixth form college to further enhance the CIAG of the students. A big thank you to Alistair for his time and excellent delivery.”
This is another example of how DMU's Higher and Degree Apprenticeship programme continues to reach out to the wider education and FE sector, looking to actively promote apprenticeships in the region.