University of Exeter launches new degree apprenticeship to tackle construction skills gap

Saturday, June 3, 2017

University of Exeter launches new degree apprenticeship to tackle construction skills gap

The University of Exeter will train the next generation of industry-leading civil engineers as part of its innovative new degree apprenticeship programme.

The University is launching the pioneering BEng Civil Engineering Site Management programme to help tackle a crucial skills gap experienced in the UK construction industry.

The part-time degree apprenticeship, which will see participants study for five years through a mix of on-campus teaching, blended learning and vital real-world experience in the workplace.

The University has teamed up with international engineering company Laing O’Rourke, together with their partners at Hinkley Point C, to deliver the degree apprenticeship.

The programme launches later this year, with 25 students allocated across the delivery partners. Each student will earn a salary throughout their studies and have their tuition fee paid for by the company they are working with.

Dr Khurram Wadee, Project Lead and a lecturer in Senior Engineering at the University of Exeter said: "The University of Exeter is well known for providing excellent education and training for undergraduates from across the spectrum of engineering disciplines.

“We have now teamed up with Laing O'Rourke to offer a degree apprenticeship in Civil Engineering Site Management, which is a new form of programme, focused on providing engineering employees the chance to graduate with a Bachelor of Engineering degree from a top UK institution.

“We are excited to be able to work closely with industry to offer a degree which will enable students to combine working on real civil engineering projects with a first-rate learning experience at Exeter."

Laing O’Rourke are working with Hinkley Point C partners including BYLOR and EDF Energy, to deliver a comprehensive programme for students alongside Exeter University allowing students the dual benefits of studying at a top 10 UK engineering department while gaining solid industry experience.

Katie McLean, Laing O’Rourke Programme Manager, said: “Hinkley Point C will be a hugely innovative and cutting edge project for all of our delivery partners. A project of this stature provides the perfect platform to help develop talent in a unique and exciting learning environment. We’re delighted to be partnering with such a prestigious institution as Exeter University in this exciting endeavour.”

John O’Connor, Laing O’Rourke Group Human Capital Director, also added: “Finding a solution to the skills gap in the UK construction industry is not only critical for the sector but also for the wider economy. Last year we released our skills report that set out a 10 point plan to help tackle the current crisis. This partnership directly addresses one of those points to increase the availability of Russell Group university standard part-time degree apprenticeships. We strongly believe that partnerships like these will play a major role in nurturing the talent required in our sector moving forward.”

As this Degree Apprenticeship is separate from the standard UCAS application process, applicants can apply in addition to and without affecting their five UCAS choices.

For more information about the degree apprenticeship, or to register interest, visit here: