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Aston University Engineering Academy first to deliver apprenticeships

National Apprenticeship Services at House of Lords celebration
National Apprenticeship Services at House of Lords celebration. From (L) Lord Baker; Lee Kilgour; Michael Gove MP; Prof Alison Halstead; Derek Parkin (E.ON); David Way (COO NAS)

9 February 2012

Aston University Engineering Academy (AUEA) will be the first University Technical College (UTC) in the UK to deliver apprenticeships, the government has announced.

The Academy will lead the UK in offering an apprenticeship scheme for students from 16, alongside its A Level and technical pathways with focus on  science and engineering  excellence. E.ON is one of the many high profile businesses involved with the Aston University Engineering Academy – helping to design and develop the Apprenticeship offer.

The Secretary of State for Education, Rt. Hon. Michael Gove MP announced that Aston University Engineering Academy will act as a pilot for further apprenticeship development across all the UK’s University Technical Colleges. The National Apprenticeship Service will be working in partnership with the Baker Dearing Educational Trust to deliver apprenticeships in University Technical Colleges across the country.

Announcing the decision at the National Apprenticeship Services event at the House of Lords, The Rt. Hon. Michael Gove MP, stated: “Excellent vocational education is a must for any modern nation. I am delighted that the Aston University Engineering Academy will be delivering apprenticeships and working with E.ON. I hope more businesses and schools will work together in a similar way, creating opportunities for young people to gain the skills and knowledge that employers need."

All apprentices at Aston University Engineering Academy will be employed by one of the AUEA sponsor companies, such as E.ON.  Students will benefit from high levels of support including mentoring and being part of the unique ethos of the University Technical College so that all feel valued and supported.

Professor Alison Halstead (Member of EU Skills Board and Pro Vice Chancellor of Aston University (Learning & Teaching Innovation) said; “I am delighted that the Aston University Engineering Academy has been able to demonstrate that schools with specialist facilities can deliver apprenticeships for 16 year olds. Many of our employers are very interested in continuing to sponsor successful students on to foundation degrees and degrees to ensure they have a highly skilled future workforce. I am optimistic that many other UTCs will start to offer an apprenticeship pathway.”

AUEA Principal Designate Lee Kilgour, said; “There are significant shortages of appropriately qualified engineers in the UK. Our apprenticeship programme will ensure young people are able to gain highly regarded, high quality technical qualifications whilst working for our sponsor companies and learning the skills they need for the workplace.”

AUEA is a state funded school for 14-19 year olds, which is sponsored by Aston University. It opens in September 2012 with an intake of 120 Year 10 and 60 Year 12 students and is located at Faraday Wharf adjacent to Birmingham Science Park Aston.

Applications for 14 and 16 year olds are open now. Further information and application forms are available at the AUEA website. Or to arrange a meeting with the Principal Designate call 0121 204 4266



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