New degree apprenticeships unveiled
Prime Minister David Cameron has urged more businesses and universities to join forces to offer degree apprenticeships as courses in another nine areas were announced.
Under the scheme, young people are able to study fee-free for a full degree while doing paid work for their sponsoring employer. Two thirds of the costs and fees are met by the taxpayer and the rest by the firm.
The new subjects on offer from this September are chartered surveying, electronic systems engineering, aerospace engineering, aerospace software development, defence systems engineering, laboratory science, nuclear, power engineering and public relations.
More than 100 companies and 20-plus universities and colleges have signed up to the programme so far but Mr Cameron said he wanted to see it expanded much further.
The Prime Minister said: "Degree apprenticeships will give people a great head start, combining a full degree with the real practical skills gained in work and the financial security of a regular pay packet.
"They will bring the world of business and the world of education closer together, and let us build the high-level technical skills needed for the jobs of the future.
"I want to see many more businesses and universities begin to offer them."
Terry Scuoler, chief executive of manufacturers organisation EEF said: "Fast-moving, evolving sectors such as manufacturing increasingly demand higher-level skills. These economically valuable industries can only grow and prosper if highly-skilled employees are there for the taking.
"There has been a noticeable gap in higher-level provision that combines both vocational and academic learning, and degree apprenticeships are the opportunity to fill this gap.
"Learners earn while they learn to a degree level and employers have access to relevant, responsive, highly-skilled employees.
"This is an opportunity not to be missed and we urge employers to step up to the plate and work with us to shape this agenda."