Apprenticeships Are Just The Beginning…

A group of students at Churchgate Academy are proving that there is definitely life after Apprenticeships!  Of the 14 students enrolled on this year’s intake on the Business Management Foundation Degree, 11 have progressed after completing an Apprenticeship.

The Foundation Degree, which is validated by the University of Staffordshire, is a part-time qualification designed for those who prefer a more practical and vocational perspective than a traditional degree course. It’s designed for students who are in employment or have appropriate work experience and who want to develop their knowledge and understanding of business, and offers the option of moving on to a top-up degree.

Caroline Parker, the Programme Leader for the Foundation Degree said:

“In previous years, we’ve had a few students who had completed Apprenticeships, but this year it’s a clear majority.  I think more and more young people are now recognising that choosing a vocational route doesn’t prevent you from continuing to develop your skills and knowledge throughout your working life, and the fact that they can gain their Foundation Degree whilst still working is a real attraction.”

Ella Lomax from Hyde works as a Contracts Coordinator for Industrial Switchgear Services Ltd in Tameside.  She completed her Level 2 in Team Leading and Marketing, then moved on to complete her Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Enterprise with Skills Solutions this summer, and then enrolled on the Foundation Degree course.  Ella said:

“We’ve been on the course about six weeks now, and it’s going really well.  We’re working on our first assignment in teams, and it’s good to work with people from different companies and different backgrounds.  I didn’t want my learning and development to stop after my Apprenticeship and this seemed like the logical progression.”

Natasha Kirby from New Moston had previously completed a Level 2 and 3 Apprenticeship in Business Administration, and a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Marketing with Skills Solutions.  Natasha works for Creative Support in central Manchester, which is a provider of support for people with learning disabilities and mental health needs.  Natasha said:

“My friend recently graduated from the Foundation Degree course and recommended it to me.  I’m finding it more demanding and in-depth than the programmes I’ve been on before, but I’m really enjoying it.  As I’ve gained my previous qualifications, I’ve progressed within the company, and I’m hoping that the Foundation Degree will help me move eventually into a management position.”