The pupils had the opportunity to try the new Virtual Reality laboratory simulations, used by Cornwall College to teach science apprentices. 

Exeter celebrates 10th annual National Apprenticeships Week

Teams of experts from the University of Exeter helped organise a series of hands-on events and activities in Devon and Cornwall, to mark National Apprenticeships Week 2017.

Groups of apprentices and staff all showed their support for a number of special events held throughout the course of the week, to highlight Exeter’s commitment to providing apprenticeships across the region.

The lively programme of events coincided with a high profile Universities UK report which recognised the University of Exeter’s success in engaging with degree apprenticeships.

Representatives from the University attended the Exeter College Apprenticeship Expo, which was co-ordinated by Exeter College, the South West Apprenticeship Ambassador Network and the National Apprenticeship Service.

The group offered students an insight into their experiences, providing valuable advice to those considering a similar career path. The students also had the opportunity to meet employers from a wide variety of sectors.

The event was closely tied to this year’s National Apprenticeship Week theme ‘Ladder of Opportunity’, by focusing on various progression routes; from traineeships through to higher and degree apprenticeships.

Elsewhere, the University hosted a special lunch for its apprentices and their mentors on at The Grove on its Streatham Campus, which provided an informative, but informal networking opportunity for those present.

Jonathan Cresswell, Deputy Head of Technical Services at the University of Exeter, who helped organised the events on campus, said: “The University of Exeter is proud to support apprenticeships and this year’s National Apprenticeship Week. We are working to develop and implement a wide range of apprenticeship programmes, from early careers to degree level, in support of the “Attract, Perform, Retain” People Strategy. We are looking forward to working with our Colleges, Services and training providers to embed apprenticeships into our workforce planning”.

National Apprenticeships Week was also celebrated at the University’s Penryn Campus; our technical services staff and representatives from the Cornwall College Group welcomed year 10 students from Humphry Davy School for their Experience Day learning about careers in STEM. They toured the campus, including multiple state-of-the-art laboratories, providing them with a feel for University life. Staff from Cornwall College explained the different pathways to STEM careers, including innovative new Lab Technician and Lab Scientist Apprenticeships, available for learners aged 16 and older from September this year.

The Universities UK report, published during National Apprenticeships Week, predicts a significant increase in the number of people opting for degree apprenticeships in England in the future and it used the University’s strategy of engaging with degree apprenticeships as a positive case study.

The University launched its first degree apprenticeship, BSc Digital and Technology Solutions, in September 2016 in order to promote widening participation, business engagement and the creation of skills relevant to national as well as local and regional employers.

This innovative programme sees students employed by companies such as IBM or Renishaw while they work towards a BSc (Hons) degree in IT for Business over four years through a combination of residential, online and work-based learning.

A new website dedicated to the wide variety of apprenticeship opportunities on offer at the University was launched this month. Visit for more information on Degree Apprenticeships and Early Career Apprenticeships at the University of Exeter.

National Apprenticeships Week was set up ten years ago to celebrate the positive impact of apprenticeships on individuals, businesses and the economy and each year events are held across the country.

Date: 13 March 2017

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