Manchester Metropolitan University logo
Published by the Learning and Teaching Unit
Summer 2003
ISSN 1477-1241
Learning and Teaching in Action logo

Vol 2 Issue 2: Flexible and Lifelong Learning

LTiA home page

Brian Murphy

Lifelong Learning: the agenda and the response
Rob Halsall

Flexible Learning within MMU: Working smarter not harder
Fred Lockwood

"What the ..@#~* PDP* < $*|>.. is going on ?"
Trevor Williamson

How adults really learn- or what we think we know about how they learn!
Jane Artess

'Transformative' Models for Learning, Teaching and Academic Professional Development - A 'Self-ish' Approach
Shaheena Abbas

Developing a Departmental Employability Strategy
Chrissie Gibson

The eUniversity
David Lambrick

Skills for Lifelong Learning: A Progress Report
Louise Willmot

Professional Modern Apprenticeships
Vic Leyden

Lifelong Learning Means You Too
Hannah Peace

Faculty Learning and Teaching Reports

Learning and Teaching News from the Library

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Photo of Vic Leyden

Vic Leyden
18 Plus Manager, Skills Solution

Professional Modern Apprenticeships

Skills Solution and the Department of Engineering and Technology at Manchester Metropolitan University are embarking on an exciting collaborative venture to improve employability and lifelong learning. The new provision meets the need of business and industry as well as contributing to widening participation.

Education versus Training

The barriers between education and training are being broken down by an exciting initiative which will provide opportunities for 18-year olds who would not normally progress to Higher Education. The ’18 Plus’ programme was launched by Skills Solution Limited, one of the largest providers of Modern Apprenticeships in the North West, in September 2002. It is hoped the initiative will start to address the skills gap and encourage collaboration between providers of training and education.

The programme is targeted at the 18 year-old school / college-leaver and aims to extend opportunities to the 18-Plus cohort and improve employability by meeting industry needs. Key to the success of the programme is the new Professional Modern Apprenticeship which is believed to be unique to Skills Solution. The PMA – being piloted by 12 young people in 2002/3 – has afforded them the opportunity to achieve higher education/professional qualifications alongside their work-based National Vocational Qualifications.

Skills Solution 18 Plus Manager Vic Leyden said: “This exciting new programme has enhanced existing Advanced Modern Apprenticeship programmes and enabled entrants to complete some aspect of higher education.

“In extending the opportunities for 18-year-olds it will increase the numbers of people across the Manchester area with higher-level skills that are currently in short supply and help them move up the promotional ladder with their employing company.

“Many candidates who possess the potential to progress up the education ladder are not given the opportunity as a result of funding issues. This scheme ensures that our apprentices end up with a rewarding job and a promising career – instead the burden of a student loan.”

Education meets Training

The 2002/3 pilot offered Professional Modern Apprenticeships in areas such as accountancy, insurance and engineering. For example, the 2002 Professional Modern Apprenticeship in Engineering enabled candidates to study for an HNC in addition to the qualifications and technical certificates included within the Advanced Modern Apprenticeship framework.

Skills Solution and the Department of Engineering and Technology at Manchester Metropolitan University are embarking on a new and exciting venture. A new Engineering Professional Modern Apprenticeship will be offered to 18 to 20 year olds who have successfully completed appropriate Further Education Qualifications, such as A Levels and AVCEs from September 2003. Students will have the opportunity to complete a BSc Eng Degree and an Advanced Modern Apprenticeship within a five-year time frame

From a starting point of June 2002 Head of the Department, Professor Ken Hurst, and key staff such as Dr John McCann and Dr John Allwork have fast-tracked arrangements with Skills Solutions, 18-Plus Manager, Vic Leyden, to produce bridging courses that allow progression onto a full BSc(Hons) Eng. at the MMU. Validation of the new bridging courses is expected by June 2003, in time for candidates to be enrolled through the Professional Modern Apprenticeship Programme in September 2003.

Vic explained: “This partnership between higher education and training bodies has broken down many of the barriers embedded in current practices - a new sense of collaboration between providers of training and education is being fostered. This initiative will open up lifelong learning opportunities for the 18-plus cohort

Education and Training Move Forward

Another exciting collaboration project that is currently under development is the Engineering AMA HE Compact. An initiative driven by the Engineering Sector Skills Council, SEMTA (Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies) will strive to ensure a seamless progression route from Advanced Modern Apprenticeships to Higher Education. The Manchester Compact, driven by Skills Solution, an Engineering Group Training Association whose membership comprises predominately of SME Companies, brings together the Bolton Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University and Skills Solution to develop an Engineering Foundation Degree that will increase the number of Professional Modern Apprenticeship frameworks available.

The local business community is appreciative of the benefits of the Professional Modern Apprenticeship Frameworks. Skills Solution is actively encouraging such companies to get involved with the programme. By supporting this initiative they will have the opportunity to contribute to, and benefit from, the training of skilled professionals suitable for a modern developed economy.

Skills Solution logoVic Leyden
telephone: 0161 245 4908

July 2003
ISSN 1477-1241

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