6,500 apprenticeships coming to Staffordshire

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A Digital Apprentices and Skills hub, set to open in 2020, aims to deliver 6,500 new apprenticeships in Staffordshire.

Staffordshire University has announced a £17 million project to drive up the number of skilled digital apprentices in the region.

The University secured an £8 million fund from the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s Catalyst Fund towards the cost of the project.

The Stoke-on-Trent campus will see a new state of the art Digital Apprenticeships and Skills hub to connect users to other people and places.

The hub will focus on maximising learning and development opportunities, as well as building on the reputation of the University as a national leader in apprenticeships.

Professor Ieuan Ellis, Pro-Vice Chancellor said: “What it will mean in part is the development of a brand-new build on our campus.

“The actual building will provide a front door to the university, it will also bring together all of our support for employability for all of the students here at Staffordshire University.

“We’re anticipating that the majority of students as they are at the moment at Staffordshire university come from the region, and will be linked to employment within the region but we’ll also be expecting to work with national employers.

“At this phase one of our major partners is Microsoft. They’ve committed to 30,000 apprenticeships across the country.”

Yvonne Hawkins, HEFCE’s Director for Universities and Colleges said: “We are very pleased to be able to support this project which should have significant impact on skills and employability in the region.

“It complements a range of recent investments we have made across the UK in skills development, both in higher and degree apprenticeships and in new and enhanced higher education courses to provide the skills needed in the future economy.”

Stoke Central MP Gareth Snell added: “This is fantastic news for Stoke-on-Trent. It will give young people who might not normally consider or be able to afford to go to university access to state of the art digital technology.

“This will not only raise aspirations and achievement levels but will help tackle our regions skills shortages.”

Darren Clark, President of Staffordshire University’s Student Union said: “It will bring a lot of attention to Staffordshire university, especially for employers because they’ll have a lot of there employees here learning through apprenticeships.”

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