Middlesex University has contributed to a major new report by Universities UK, Routes to high-level skills, arguing that the partnerships required to provide skills for the jobs of the future are already in place.
The need for closer working between universities and colleges, and between education providers and local employers will become increasingly important as demand for people of all ages with higher level skills continues to grow.
Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said: “The debate shouldn’t be about further versus higher education. This report shows that colleges and universities across the country are sharing expertise and resources to provide courses that employers want. Government, funders and regulators should focus on building strong local links, not seeing an unreal divide.”
Middlesex’s Centre for Apprenticeships and Skills is one of eight case studies in the report to illustrate how collaborations between higher and further education institutions and employers work in practice and their potential to grow.
Middlesex’s degree apprenticeship provision grew out of the University’s pre-existing partnership with global sales training organisation Consalia, to meet employers’ increased demand for apprenticeships with the introduction of the apprenticeship levy. A B2B sales professional degree apprenticeship, with students from Royal Mail and BT, and a construction professional degree apprenticeship have been followed by work to develop digital, senior leader and creative industries degree apprenticeships.
Middlesex’s strategic partnership with Capital City College Group, which comprises three big London FE colleges, aligns FE and HE apprenticeship offers so learners can advance seamlessly from one level to another along a progression pathway. The partnership with CCCG increased the number of students the University could work with to 40,000 across both institutions and enabled more learners from a broader range of backgrounds – a key objective of the government and of Middlesex’s own mission to aid social mobility.
Darryll Bravenboer, Middlesex’s head of apprenticeships and skills says that apprenticeships provision has opened up the collaborative space, with “an opportunity for universities, FE, private providers and employers to collaborate on much more equal terms.”