Young man and woman on an apprenticeship in an office meeting with employees
The University of Plymouth has been praised for the quality of its degree apprenticeships and how they are helping to meet regional and national skills priorities.
An inspection by Ofsted, carried out in May 2023, gave the University an overall rating of ‘Good’ in all four categories: quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management.
It highlighted that apprentices value the programmes they are studying, the opportunities they get to build their confidence and resilience, and the professional and welfare support they receive to help them achieve their goals.
The University launched its first degree apprenticeships in 2017, shortly after they were introduced by the Government to give employees the chance to earn while they learn.
Initially its programmes included information technology and business management, but since then it has expanded its offering to cover subjects in health, social care, digital and technology solutions, professional and civil engineering.
These programmes have enabled more than 1,500 students to start a degree apprenticeship and the University has worked with more than 250 companies right across England.
Professor John Curnow, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Education and Student Experience at the University of Plymouth, said: 

This report is a hugely positive endorsement of our degree apprenticeships programme. It shows that we are meeting the needs of employers in the South West and beyond at a time when they are increasingly looking at ways to upskill their workforce.

John CurnowJohn Curnow
Deputy Vice Chancellor, Education and Student Experience

The new report marks the first time the University’s degree apprenticeships programmes have been fully inspected by Ofsted since they were introduced.
In addition to praising the overall quality of the programmes, inspectors were impressed by the way apprentices were given demanding tasks that build on what they already know.
They highlighted that many apprentices achieve the highest grade possible, while many others secure a job promotion into a more senior job role or move on to undertake more complex tasks.
They also praised how lecturers use their current research to help apprentices overcome challenges, something applied across the University through its commitment to research-informed teaching.

Degree apprenticeships at the University of Plymouth

Designed by employers for employers, our work-based degree apprenticeships and higher apprenticeships address skills gaps, staff retention issues and support succession planning. Adaptable by nature, they can be used to upskill existing employees, including senior management, as well as to attract new talent to a business.
Combining a high-quality education with work-based learning and ongoing professional development, the knowledge employees gain can be directly and immediately applied to the workplace.
Degree Apprenticeships are a partnership between the employer, the apprentice, and the University of Plymouth as the training provider.