University plugs regional skills gap with 125 new apprenticeships in health and construction

Business news

Friday 13 October 2017

Press contact

Press Team

Coventry University will tackle shortages in healthcare, construction and engineering across the West Midlands with 125 new degree apprenticeships.

The major new education programme will see students paid to train in one of 13 professions including as paramedics, registered nurses, building site managers and design engineers – all where a shortage has been identified.

Nurses, paramedics and engineering specialists are on the government’s shortage occupation list; and in 2015, 19 percent of nursing posts were unfilled in University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust alone.

In construction, a report found the Midlands must recruit more than 58,000 workers a year until 2021, and that an extra 1,300 quantity surveyors and 1,200 civil engineers are needed to deliver planned infrastructure projects.

Aidan Friend, Chief Operating Officer for CU Coventry, said:  “This is a fantastic opportunity for designing and delivering new programmes to help organisations take advantage of the new world of degree apprenticeships.


“We will also assist employers by training workplace mentors to help remove some of the barriers which currently stop them from adopting a wider offing of higher and degree apprentices.


The university has a long history of developing work-based learning, and thanks to our strong industry links regionally we are ideally placed to help to continue to deliver first class learning to our growing student community.”


Degree apprenticeships provide training with an employer alongside part time study and the opportunity to gain a full bachelor’s or master’s level degree. 

Courses will be delivered at Coventry University from September 2018, working with seven regional partners including George Elliot, University Hospitals, and Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trusts; the West Midlands Ambulance Service and Unipart. 

Apprenticeships will double to 250 in 2019 as the university expands provision into its regional campuses, CU Scarborough and CU London – aligning with government targets to deliver three million apprenticeships by 2020.

The programme was made possible through University investment and £240,000 of funding from HEFCE’s Degree Apprenticeship Development Fund – where a total of £4.8million has been awarded to universities and colleges in England to create 4,500 degree apprenticeships.

Coventry, as part of the West Midland Combined Universities (WMCU) alongside Birmingham City University and the University of Wolverhampton, also helped secure almost half a million pounds from the fund to develop a new Health and Care Degree Apprenticeship Accelerator Programme providing skilled staff in the social care, health and voluntary sectors.