Sue Graham

Sue Graham, business development manager at Northumbria University

Degree apprenticeship: New knowledge. New skills. New thinking.

Sue Graham, business development manager at Northumbria University, explains how it’s apprenticeship programme provides your employees with new skills, new knowledge, and new thinking to take on tomorrow’s challenges.

Higher and degree apprenticeships are a key strand in the Government’s skills strategy and are open to newly recruited and existing staff from organisations of all sizes. They combine university study and workplace learning to enable employees to gain new knowledge, new skills, and new thinking whilst completing an undergraduate or master’s degree.

In the current climate, organisations need to be sure that they are developing their people in line with current and future demands. The specific needs of your business or organisation can be met with teaching based on real workplace activities and live projects to complement day-to-day operations.

At Northumbria University, our higher and degree apprenticeships are more than a learning programme; they are a partnership. We work with you to create courses that meet the demands of your organisation. We will provide your employees with the skills and knowledge required so they can take on tomorrow’s challenges.

Kevin Corredin, who is currently doing a chartered manager degree apprenticeship at Vertu Motors, explains: “Being involved in the running and management of a dealership is an amazing task to do as I get to discover all of the work that goes behind it. I see this not only as an opportunity to be a manager but also to make a positive change in the motor industry in the UK.”

Northumbria University started to run apprenticeship programmes in 2015 and it is going from strength to strength. We have many partnerships in place with public and private organisations including Durham County Council, HM Revenue & Customs, NHS Business Services Authority, North Tyneside Council, Northumberland County Council, Turner and Townsend, Vertu Motors and many smaller companies and organisations.

Since 2015, we have developed our apprenticeship offer and following the success of our current three apprenticeship programmes, in chartered surveying, chartered manager and digital and technology solutions we are building on this further for 2018-19.

Subject to approval, for the next academic year we are aiming to run nine programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Subjects include: professional accounting; architect; chartered surveying; chartered manager; senior leader master’s degree; senior compliance risk specialist; solicitor and teacher.

Our apprenticeships build upon the foundation of employees’ existing abilities and experience leaving your employees empowered through increased skills, knowledge, self-awareness and a greater sense of value and purpose within your organisation.

Kirste Worland, ICT service delivery manager for NHS Business Services Authority explains “Working in partnership with Northumbria University has enabled us to help shape and influence how our apprentices learn and develop; pushing the boundaries in developing a flexible and innovative approach to apprenticeships. 

“Organisationally, the creativity, ideas, questions, and thinking has stimulated both apprentices and existing staff over the past four months and this synergy has generated some great ideas as well as productive working relationships, and I look forward to seeing this coming into fruition.

“This is a long-term commitment from both the organisation and the apprentice, and the support I have observed from all quarters has been exceptional and I look forward to building on this over the coming months.”

For more information on how your business could benefit from degree apprenticeships and our 2018-19 programmes visit

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Sue Graham
0191 227 3188