First apprentices graduate from the University

The first cohort of apprentices from the University's apprenticeship scheme graduated during ceremonies at Rochester Cathedral on 20 November.

In total, 33 apprentices graduated from the BSc (Hons) in Applied Bioscience and BSc (Hons) in Chemical Sciences programmes.

Designed by employers, higher education providers, and professional bodies, degree apprenticeships enable the development of high level skills, providing an alternative route to a degree and a career. Bringing together higher education study with paid work, degree apprentices spend part of their time in study and part with their employer.

Professor Scott Wildman, Director of the University’s Centre for Higher and Degree Apprenticeships (CHDA), joined the students at their graduation. He said: ‘It was a special moment to see our first apprentices graduate in Rochester Cathedral. Their success is testament to the dedication and hard work they each put in during their apprenticeships. I wish them every success for the future.’

Looking ahead to 2020 and beyond, Professor Wildman added: ‘We have many more graduation ceremonies in the pipeline and can’t wait to build on this success, grow our higher and degree apprenticeship offerings and continue to help apprentices progress and flourish in their chosen career paths.’

CHDA launched in 2016 with the aim of working in partnership with regional and national employers to develop apprenticeships tailored to their needs.

For students the benefits of an apprenticeship include gaining a relevant qualification, employer support for their studies, a cost free qualification with fees paid for by the government and their employer, and the ability to gain a qualification whilst employed in a real job.

For employers, apprenticeships are a cost-effective way to attract higher calibre staff, develop existing employees, fill skills gaps and boost quality.