The University of Central Lancashire

Working in partnership to develop business talent

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is one of the largest and most experienced providers of higher and degree apprenticeships in the North West.

The university actively engages with employers eager to develop apprenticeships to up-skill and enhance their workforce, growing their business and gaining a competitive advantage.

Those employers include larger levy-paying employers and SMEs, with courses delivered on a local and national scale.

Today UCLan has more than 1,000 degree apprentices and offers 33 programmes from levels 5 to 7.

Their content and delivery are designed in collaboration with high-profile employers, including BAE Systems, Boohoo, BBC, Lancashire County Council, NHS, Leyland Trucks and Royal Mail.

UCLan, with its world-class teaching, learning, research, enterprise and innovation facilities, currently works in partnership with more than 400 employers and offers apprenticeships at all levels.

Finding the perfect combination

A degree apprenticeship was the perfect way for business development manager James Richardson to obtain qualifications.

The traditional university route is not the right path for everyone, which is just one of the reasons higher and degree apprenticeships are on the rise.

For James, 25, they provide the perfect opportunity to balance professional and personal development with full-time employment at Red Rose Care, where he is business development manager. He is currently studying on UCLan’s BA (Hons) Business Management (Chartered Manager) Degree Apprenticeship.

James, from Preston, who will graduate next summer, says: “Being in full-time employment means I am gaining valuable work experience, which the traditional university approach does not offer.

“Attending university one day a week really suits me. I also enjoy the fact I’m able to put my learning into practice.”

Flying high

The sky really is the limit for Lewis Brereton after completing his software engineering apprenticeship while working at BAE Systems.

The 21-year-old graduated from a four-year apprenticeship course studying a BEng in Software Engineering with a first-class Honours Degree and has been in full-time employment with the aerospace giant ever since.

Lewis studied two days a week while undertaking a series of work-based placements and he says that the course has given him a ‘head start’ in the world of work.

He adds: “The idea of having my degree fullyfunded, whilst being paid and working with experts seemed a no-brainer.”

Mum gets a second chance

Jo Leigh is balancing family life and running a business while studying for her degree at UCLan.

She thought she had missed the chance to go to university. Now, thanks to a degree apprenticeship, the mum-of-three has been given a second chance at gaining qualifications. With her sister Nichola, Jo, 40, runs events business ‘Launch Events North West’.

Responsible for promoting the business through social media and digital marketing, she wanted to build skills in those areas through an accredited course, allowing her to continue balancing her creative director role with family life.

She is now studying on UCLan’s BA (Hons) Digital Marketing Degree Apprenticeship and will graduate next summer. She says: “Most accredited courses are full-time but as a working mum, this wasn’t practical.”

Building for the future

Daniel Parkinson is gaining a wealth of experience in the construction sector as he balances his studies with a role at leading infrastructure group Balfour Beatty.

The 27-year-old from Preston is getting vital industry experience working at Sellafield in Cumbria on the giant nuclear decommissioning project.

Daniel is also in his third and final year of the BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying course at UCLan. He chose it because of the professional body-accredited degree on offer.

He says: “Working in construction from the age of 16, I knew I wanted to continue my career in the industry. When Balfour Beatty offered me the opportunity to undertake the apprenticeship, I realised this would be the right path for me.