Nursing apprenticeships are to be offered by nine further universities in England from September 2018, following a national funding announcement.
The group of universities has been given a share of £4.9 million by the Higher Education Funding Council for England to devise the employer-based training programmes over the next year.
The money has been divided between universities that will offer a wide selection of new degree-level apprenticeships, ranging from healthcare and science to business and engineering.
This is the second wave of investment from HEFCE’s Degree Apprenticeship Development Fund, designed to produce 4,500 apprentices from September 2018 onwards.
Coventry University, Keele University, Leeds Trinity University and University of Cumbria will all use the cash to develop registered nurse degree apprenticeships with employers this year.
The University of Suffolk and Southampton Solent University have also been given money to set up “adult nursing” and “adult nursing practice” apprenticeships.
Meanwhile, today’s announcement also confirmed Sheffield Hallam University, Middlesex University and Birmingham City University will develop “nursing” apprenticeship programmes.
Keele University said it had secured £82,000 from the funding pot to set up a health apprenticeships “hub” and support its work with employers.
Dr Mark Bacon, director of research, innovation and engagement at Keele University, said: “As an institution we are committed to developing high quality apprenticeship delivery to meet the needs of regional and national industry and services.
“Our apprenticeships will be as highly esteemed as our traditional degree delivery.”
Leeds Trinity University, which is leading a consortium of 11 higher education providers and 20 business and public sector partners in the region, has been granted £298,800 of funding to develop 14 new apprenticeships including those in nursing, policing and education.
Professor Ray Lloyd, deputy vice-chancellor at Leeds Trinity University, said: “Degree apprenticeships offer a viable ‘other’ route not only into higher education, but into professions which require higher-level skills and attributes.
“The funding we’ve received today will create new opportunities for individuals across West Yorkshire, including those under-represented in higher education."
HEFCE chief executive Madeleine Atkins congratulated the universities provided with funding: "They will now work with employers to develop new degree apprenticeship provision across a variety of sectors. This will help more people to access higher education, and to follow their chosen career, while closing the skills gaps in the economy."
Last year, in its first wave of apprenticeship funding, HEFCE gave money to four universities so they could offer nurse apprenticeships from September 2017.
However, a recent investigation by Nursing Times found none had so far been approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council to run the programmes.
Greenwich University said it now expected to begin apprenticeships in autumn 2018 and Sunderland University said it would start the training in 2018 at the earliest.
Derby University, meanwhile, said it planned to offer apprenticeship training from March 2018. Gloucestershire University was unable to confirm its plans.
Nursing Times was told confusion over how to use the new levy funding system for apprenticeships, the need to support training for other new roles, such as nursing associates, and pressure on clinical placements had all contributed to delays.
Just two higher education providers - the Open University and Anglia Ruskin University – are currently approved to run degree-level nurse apprenticeships, neither of which were given money by HEFCE.
Originally published in Nursing Times (5 Oct).