From education to employment

Blackburn College apprentice’s complete degree with Senator 

Eight Blackburn College apprentices have completed their Chartered Manager Degree in partnership with Accrington based product design company Senator. 

Lydia Pilling, Kai Booth, Patrick Fleming, Alexander Crowe, Kate O’Connor, Jamie McCann, Rhiannon Copple, Charlie Spencer, are the first students to complete the new programme which began at Blackburn College in September 2018. 

 The eight students are in the process of completing the apprenticeship part of their degree and have entered the gateway stage where staff from Senator and Blackburn College will review each student’s knowledge, skills and behaviour before the students then complete an End Point Assessment. 

The End Point Assessment is the final stage of an apprenticeship and will assess the above criteria via a series of assessments. 

Students undertook different roles whilst studying for their degree apprenticeship and spent 80% of their time being educated in the operational environment with 20% spent learning theoretical skills. 

Senator approached Blackburn College with their requirements for recruiting new members of staff and together, the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship was chosen as the ideal solution. 

Jamie McCann, 25, from Preston worked as a Production Process Manager whilst completing the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship and will complete his chartership with the rest of the cohort later this year once they have completed the apprenticeship part of their degree. 

Jamie said: “I didn’t know what I wanted to do after finishing college. I didn’t really fancy the idea of going to university and I thought a business management apprenticeship would be perfect to help start me on a career path. 

“The apprenticeship gave me confidence in aspects of my day-to-day role where I had very little experience, building up knowledge in these areas allowed me to apply theory, understand, and plan for the possible outcomes, even before carrying out new tasks. 

 “The best thing is when you can turn around, at various intervals and see just how far you have progressed professionally, personally and academically. When reflecting on personal development, it can be eye-opening to realise how much skill, knowledge and experience you build over the apprenticeship.” 

Senator Operations Director Tony Berry added: “The value to Senator of the undergraduate business apprenticeship with degree qualification, has allowed us to position talent into key areas of the Operation. 

“The project has been a huge success and all 10 candidates have their degree qualification with just their apprenticeship to be finalised. 

“We have skills in place across the group that I believe would have been difficult to recruit without this programme and probably didn’t exist. It is our task now to ensure that pathways are created so that each and every one of them can have an opportunity to reach their potential.” 

 Blackburn College’s Head of Operations (Apprenticeships) Nicola Cunningham said: “I would like to congratulate the first cohort of students who have completed the Chartered Manager Degree. 

“They have shown dedication and commitment over the last four years, working to complete this through Covid-19 so I’m extremely delighted to see them graduate from the degree and look forward to them achieving their apprenticeship later this year.” 

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