News story

Graduation ceremony takes place for UK’s first Degree apprentices

The first cohort of Degree apprentices in the UK have graduated from Aston University today (Monday 17 July).

Graduates with Sue Husband

Eleven Capgemini Degree apprentices were awarded Bachelors of Science (BSc’s) in Digital and Technology Solutions, following 3 years of working at Capgemini combined with study.

64% of apprentices from Capgemini achieved a 1st class honours degree and all others received 2nd class honours degrees.

Skills and Apprenticeships Minister Anne Milton said:

I am delighted to offer my own personal congratulations to the UK’s first ever degree apprentice graduates. The hard work and commitment involved is truly admirable and highlights the opportunities apprenticeships can bring.

I hope this will encourage more people to consider a degree apprenticeship. It is a great way to earn while you learn at some of the UK’s top Universities and to go on to secure a rewarding job. Well done to all the students and also congratulations to both Aston University and Capgemini for breaking new ground.

Also being recognised today at the Aston University School of Engineering & Applied Science graduation ceremony was Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service who collected an honorary Doctorate in Science (Dsc), conferred by Vice Chancellor, Professor Alec Cameron.

Sue Husband said:

I am absolutely delighted to attend the graduation of the first cohort of Degree apprentices in the country, for what is a momentous occasion.

Degree apprenticeships are a significant step forward, providing the opportunity to develop and nurture talented individuals, and are a key part of our apprenticeships reform programme - with the ambition of creating 3 million quality apprenticeships by 2020 - and includes apprenticeships at higher levels, in more occupations and sectors.

The 11 Degree apprentices receiving their degrees today highlight the significance of higher level apprenticeships and the benefits to apprentices and their employer. Capgemini must be extremely proud of their successes.

As someone who has worked in the education and skills sector for many years, it is also a real privilege for me to receive an honorary DSc. I am a huge advocate of the transformative power that gaining skills and qualifications has on a person’s life and I am thrilled to have been recognised by Aston University.

Degree apprenticeships give people the opportunity to attain a Degree from some of the country’s best universities and higher education institutions whilst training in a top flight career. They are already available in sectors such as Automotive, Banking, Digital Industries, Chartered Surveying, Aerospace and the Nuclear industry. Many universities and colleges are offering higher and Degree apprenticeships across the country.

Higher and Degree apprenticeships are available at levels 4 to 7 and combine work with study and may include a work-based, academic or combined qualification or a professional qualification relevant to the industry. Level 6 is equivalent to a Bachelor’s Degree and level 7 is equivalent to a Master’s Degree. Typically, higher apprentices study part-time at college, university or with a training provider.

Currently, over 240,000 workplaces employ an apprentice including Capgemini, Ford, ITV, Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Barclays and the BBC, alongside many small and medium sized enterprises. There are between 12,000 and 20,000 apprenticeship vacancies across all levels on the find an apprenticeship site at any one time.

Find out more about apprenticeships on GOV.UK.

Published 17 July 2017