Graduate apprentices boost public sector skills


Healthcare and management graduates from University of Leeds Apprenticeship programmes are boosting public services across the Leeds city region.

The University of Leeds works in partnership with a diverse range of employers, including the NHS and Leeds City Council, to provide employment-based training programmes that develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours most urgently needed.

A group of 18 Leeds City Council employees were the first cohort of graduates from the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) programme, which was delivered by the University's Lifelong Learning Centre in partnership with the council.

Meanwhile, a team of 19 nurses from Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust and Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust have graduated from the Registered Nurse course at the School of Healthcare.

A further four people from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust have recently completed the School’s Advanced Clinical Practitioner (ACP) programme.

The University of Leeds works with organisations to shape training around their business needs, minimise skills shortages and help them to access talent at a reduced recruitment cost. At any one time, the University is teaching around 500 apprentices of all ages and backgrounds.

National Apprenticeship Service studies with employers have found that employing apprentices lowers staff turnover and improves staff satisfaction while increasing productivity and service quality.

Professor Jeff Grabill, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education at Leeds, said: "Hiring an apprentice is an investment in the future. Employers choose the University of Leeds because of our excellence in education, along with our strong retention and completion rates.

"Skilled apprentices make a big difference to organisations by enhancing productivity and providing a fresh perspective on their challenges."

Apprenticeships are a brilliant opportunity to support our workforce development.”

Allie Varley, Senior Project Nurse at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust

Gemma Haynes, Employment and Skills Senior Manager at Leeds City Council said: “For such a large local authority, it is vital we support and develop strong managers and leaders. The University of Leeds has helped prepare our future workforce through this apprenticeship programme by enabling them to contribute to the authority's objectives at a strategic level and improving their abilities to solve complex problems while enhancing innovation, creativity and critical thinking skills.”

Allie Varley, Senior Project Nurse at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, said: “We are really pleased with the success of the nursing apprenticeships. We recently had over 15 learners complete their programme and register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as registered nurses. 

“Apprenticeships are a brilliant opportunity to support our workforce development. They allow the opportunity of becoming a registered nurse to our wider workforce and reduce barriers previously felt by our experienced healthcare support workers.”

Smaller employers are eligible for government funding that pays between 95% and 100% of the apprentice training costs. Large employers use their Apprenticeship Levy to pay for training.

The University of Leeds CMDA programme aims to strengthen the leadership and management skills of new and existing managers as they step up to more senior leadership roles. Apprentices develop skills and knowledge directly relevant to their employer, which can be applied from day one. 

The nursing degree has a 50:50 split between academic study and clinical placements and provides the knowledge and skills needed to care for adults in a complex and ever-changing healthcare environment.

The ACP programme is for all non-medical registered healthcare professionals who independently manage defined episodes of clinical care from admission to discharge. The University of Leeds' School of Healthcare is one of the largest multi-professional health schools in the country.

Further information

Find out more about apprenticeships at the University of Leeds.

For further information, contact Richard Abbott in the University of Leeds press office.

Photo caption: CMDA graduates and programme leaders.

Photo credit: Jo Bates