Crossrail chairman Sir Terry Morgan CBE has hailed the launch of four new degree apprenticeship courses at the University of East London (UEL) as an important step forward in delivering the skills needed for a successful UK economy.
New apprenticeship course are an important step to boost the UK’s economy: Photo credit Jamie Murray/UEL
Speaking at the official launch of the degree apprenticeships at UEL’s Docklands campus, Morgan said: “Degree apprenticeships help develop the skills our economy needs. The University of East London is very much at the forefront of the government’s plan to significantly expand its degree apprenticeship scheme and address the skills gap.”
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Morgan was among a host of VIP guests at the launch event from the worlds of politics, finance, construction and engineering.
The Government has awarded UEL 200 degree apprenticeships places in four key subject areas: Construction Site Management; Construction Design Management; Civil Engineering Site Management; and Digital and Technology Solutions. The new courses will begin in September.
The Minister of State for Skills, Nick Boles, sent a message of support to mark the launch on June 16.
Boles said: “An apprenticeship is designed to take you anywhere, and these new apprenticeships are the proof. Created by top employers, these apprenticeships will shape the leaders, civil engineers and construction managers of the future.
“They will also ensure we have the highly skilled workforce our economy needs and that young people have more choice for their future.”
The Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, who was among the attendees, said: “It is great to hear about UEL’s efforts to create an accessible offer for our young people – where they can earn a wage and develop relevant skills at the same time.
“The rapid economic development in Newham means the construction sector in Newham is booming. We have to make sure that the skills that people gain are actually suited to the jobs that are available.
“By working in partnership with employers and education providers, we can equip our young people with the right skills to grasp the opportunities open to them. These apprenticeships are a great example of this partnership work.”
The MP for East Ham, Stephen Timms, also attended the event and spoke about the contribution skilled industry workers would make to the local area. Newham is going through rapid regeneration, including a new billion pound finance district in the Docklands area and a new commercial and housing development in Silvertown.
“It’s a very positive contribution, helping people in our community make the most of the opportunities opening up in this part of London,” he said.
Also speaking at the event was Professor Ian Reeves, the former chairman of the London region of the Confederation of British Industry, who encouraged young people to be optimistic about the future.
Professor Reeves said: “Whatever your personality or skill set, there is a place for you in the construction industry. There are so many roles and sectors and a variety of jobs.
“I hope these degree apprenticeships will open up an avenue for people who haven’t been able to access opportunities for one reason or another.
“I’m passionate about helping people and mentoring them, especially long-term unemployed people.”
Thanking his guests, UEL Dean of the School of Architecture, Computing, and Engineering, Professor Hassan Abdulla, said he was delighted with the launch and excited by the newest additions to the University’s portfolio of degree courses.
“These new vocational programmes are really going to meet the needs of employers – transferable skills, attitudes and behaviours and workplace knowledge that they are looking for from our graduates.
“We’ve been really engaged with major employers in the development of these degree apprenticeships. This is a very exciting opportunity, and we’re leading the way.”