DEGREE APPRENTICESHIPS – Addressing the future skills gap

The feedback LCR 4.0 has received from SME’s is that they are concerned that their workforces do not have the necessary skills to adopt the new technologies of the future. There are even some fears that robots will take our jobs!  We are constantly hearing that there are a lack of skilled employees, not only in Liverpool City Region, but across the UK. What can modern businesses do about it? How can you ensure the next generation of potential employees has the guaranteed skills to fit within your organisation? How can you maintain and improve the skill levels of your current workforce to remain competitive? Is it possible to shape the way existing and new employees are trained to allow them to add significant value to your business? The answer is…yes!

LCR 4.0 in conjunction with Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) hosted a workshop on 21st March 2017 to showcase how Degree Apprenticeship’s can benefit local companies, and truly partner with industry to ensure the future workforce has the dedicated skills required to increase prospects of both employers and employees.

LJMU has been listening to the needs of industry, and is transforming the way prospective and existing employees are educated, ensuring graduates are prepared for the workplace, whilst enhancing the knowledge of current work-based employees through the ‘Degree Apprentice’ scheme.

This revolutionary initiative is providing more focus on equipping young people with the ‘real’ skills for the workplace, developing not only the key elements of advanced education, but also ensuring graduates are resilient, good communicators and understand how to work as part of a team.

The Degree Apprentice programme also caters for existing employees within a business, combining study with work place learning with a strong focus on career development. The programme offers studying at a degree level while gaining on-the-job training bringing together the best of higher and vocational training.

Businesses had the opportunity to speak to the Degree Apprenticeship Team and learn about the benefits of the programme which included, amongst others, the costs involved and how the levy works, different entry levels to accommodate the current work forces, commitment required from the employer/university and how industry can shape future programmes to accommodate any gaps in the skills required.

Anthony Walker, LJMU Strategic Manager commented “We are passionate about not only supporting local companies with new innovations to provide increased productivity, but also ensuring the workforce has the required skills to really make an impact for the employer and employee.”

Anthony continued: “We are keen to make sure we listen to the needs of industry and address the key training issues. It is our aim to use this scheme, allied with other key assets in the region, to develop the next generation of employees meeting the rigorous demands of industry. It would be fantastic for local talent to be retained in Liverpool City Region, and the prospects for employers and employees has never been better.”

There are live opportunities to be involved in the Degree Apprenticeship Programme, with the next courses commencing in September 2017. For more details, please visit