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KNOWLEDGE NEWS Making Managers: Launch of Degree Apprenticeship Deal THE UNIVERSITY OF WOLVERHAMPTON RECENTLY ANNOUNCED A NEW DEGREE APPRENTICESHIP FOR BUDDING MANAGERS, DURING A SERIES OF SPECIAL EVENTS CELEBRATING NATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP WEEK. At a March breakfast event, hosted by former England Rugby coach Sir Clive Woodward, the new Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship was launched. The new apprenticeship is just one example highlighting the University’s commitment to delivering higher level and professional technical skills, in line with the government’s Apprenticeship Levy.

The announcement follows last year's launch of the University's Apprenticeship Hub in the city – a one-stop destination offering apprenticeship support, services and information for businesses. The University has agreed a three year partnership deal with Hampshire-based Serco, one of the world’s largest providers of public services to governments with over 50,000 employees in over 20 countries. The agreement enables selected Serco staff to study the Degree Apprenticeship, which is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute and combines work-based learning with lectures and distance learning. Jackie Dunne, Deputy ViceChancellor (Access and Lifelong Learning) at the University, said: “The government is committed to boosting productivity and increasing the quantity and quality of apprenticeships through its new levy. “The launch of our new Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship highlights the benefits to all employers of investing in upskilling staff by equipping them with higher level skills.” Find out more about the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship and other apprenticeships that can benefit your business at:

Pictured left to right: Miceal Barden (Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences) and Jackie Dunne (Deputy Vice-Chancellor) from the University of Wolverhampton and Sir Clive Woodward.

SKILLS CENTRE BREAKS NEW GROUND The University of Wolverhampton has appointed Aspect Construction to build the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills (ECMS) Hub at its new Springfield Campus. The landmark occasion, which took place on the first day of National Apprenticeship Week, was marked by a ground breaking ceremony at the site. The ECMS Hub and Spokes will provide worldclass training facilities and support the delivery of apprenticeships at the University, helping to build productivity and growth for businesses in the high value manufacturing sector. Work has now started on the building project on the former Springfield Brewery site, following approval of £8.04 million funding by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Spokes will deliver training in Tipton, Dudley, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton. Professor Ian Oakes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University, said: “We are committed to the regeneration of Wolverhampton and this ceremony marks the next stage of our ambitious plans to re-develop this historic site – helping to boost the economy and create jobs.” Find out more about manufacturing apprenticeships at:

GRANT FOR LANDMARK COAL MINING RESEARCH The University has been awarded more than £650,000 to undertake a major study of the British coal industry and its demise. The three-year project will be led by former coal miner, Professor Keith Gildart, focusing on the everyday experiences of coal miners and key moments in the history of the industry. Miceal Barden, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, said: “We are delighted that the Arts and Humanities Research Council have awarded such a significant grant for this important and innovative research.” Work on the project starts in October 2017 and Professor Gildart hopes the results will be useful to academics, policymakers, schools, galleries and museums.

WORLD-FIRST ACCREDITATION FOR UNIVERSITY As the new multi-million pound Springfield Campus builds momentum, a worldfirst accreditation from an international institute acts as a stamp of approval for the University’s built environment courses. The University of Wolverhampton is the first to have its courses accredited by the Quantity Surveyors International (QSi), the only professional body to cater solely for quantity surveyors. Following this endorsement, all undergraduate and postgraduate built environment courses offered by the Faculty of Science and Engineering will be accredited by QSi as well as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Chartered Institute of Building.

NEW FUND BOOSTS RESEARCH SPINOFF COMPANIES An investment fund from the University of Wolverhampton and Caparo aims to take research from the laboratory to the commercial world. The jointly-funded £400,000 CIC Investment Fund supports the exploitation of University intellectual property to the market place. The fund will make investments in return for shares in separate University spinoff companies, with the view that each independent company will have the potential to develop new solutions and technologies and attract greater investment. Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: “This new partnership with Caparo will allow us to transform fantastic research into commercial realities to create both an economic and societal impact.” The new initiative is being led by Professor Andrew Pollard from the Caparo Innovation Centre, based at the University of Wolverhampton Science Park. For more information, email:

Paul Hampton, Head of Built Environment at the University, said: “To have secured accreditation by this internationally recognised body is an amazing achievement by the University meaning that we are equipping students with the highest levels of competence and professionalism. “Our courses will be benchmarked to regulated quality standards and will be recognised across the globe meaning that students will be employable nationally and internationally.” The University’s School of Architecture and Built Environment will soon relocate to the new Springfield Campus, which aims to be Europe’s largest specialist construction and built environment campus, bringing together businesses and the education sector to maximise economic impact. For updates on Springfield and to get involved, visit:

PROVIDING STUDENT SOLUTIONS TO BUSINESS CHALLENGES An exciting, innovative new programme aims to provide short-term support to regional businesses through collaboration with University students. Challenge Academy pairs undergraduate and postgraduate students with businesses to tackle existing business challenges. Under the supervision of academic mentors, students can implement innovative ideas and utilise their specialist skills within your business – while you can benefit from access to university resources and academic expertise through this network. To find out how Challenge Academy can support your organisation to improve its capability and competitiveness, visit:

£10 MILLION TELFORD INVESTMENT UNVEILED The University has opened its doors on brand new facilities in Telford, following a £10 million investment in engineering. Visitors to the undergraduate Open Day in February were treated to the first glimpse of advanced new engineering equipment at Telford Innovation Campus. £100,000 flight and track simulators and new workshops with three car bays, in support of the University of Wolverhampton Racing Team, were among the specialist facilities showcased. The investment in engineering resources and courses is in response to the regional and national shortage of qualified engineering graduates.

Other new specialist equipment includes a design and visualisation facility, wind tunnels, engine test facilities, 3D printing facilities, and laboratories dedicated to electronics and telecommunications, metrology and materials testing research.

Keep up-todate with the latest engineering developments at:

Professor Ian Oakes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, said: “This substantial investment in enhanced provision and expanded facilities demonstrates our commitment to providing the next generation of skilled engineers.”

SPONSORSHIP DEAL RACES INTO ACTION A Midlands law firm has signed a three-year sponsorship deal to keep the University’s Formula 3 team on the winning track. Wolverhampton-based FBC Manby Bowdler will support University of Wolverhampton Racing through sponsorship of the team’s F3 Cup racing car, an annual bursary for one female engineering student, and an engineering prize to be awarded in the law firm’s name.

PLANS FOR NEW STAFFORD CENTRE ANNOUNCED A new centre will offer business support as well as information, advice and guidance on higher education to people in Stafford. The University recently announced plans to open the new centre this year on the ground floor of Staffordshire Place, relocating from its former premises in Shire Hall. The new town centre base includes two teaching rooms, social learning and meeting spaces, and will deliver a range of short and taster courses alongside a fuller ranger of courses from September 2017. Plans have been submitted and a lease agreed by the University with Staffordshire County Council. Will Foster, the University’s Dean of Staffordshire, said: “Since our arrival in Stafford, we have built up strong relationships with key partners and businesses and are delighted to have secured our place here.”

UWRacing finished second in the 2016 season’s MSV F3 Cup. Neil Lloyd, FBC sales director, said: “The level of teamwork and commitment on display during this past season was incredible and the way the team continually strives for excellence is a credit to them. We look forward to supporting the team throughout the next season and beyond.” The new partnership was officially launched at a special reception at The Light House in Wolverhampton. Are you interested in becoming a sponsor? Get in touch at:


BUSINESS SOLUTIONS FOR SANDWELL Businesses in Sandwell can benefit from services and support at a new centre, launched by the University in partnership with Sandwell Council and Sandwell College. The award-winning support team at Sandwell Business Solutions Centre, based at the college, can help your business to develop and grow – offering everything from start-up workshops and Knowledge Transfer Opportunities to apprenticeship advice and funding opportunities.

Pictured left to right: SNP member Peter Grant, MPs Emma Reynolds and Hilary Benn, Prof. Ian Oakes (University of Wolverhampton), MPs John Whittingdale and Pat McFadden.

Find out more at:

Brexit has continued to dominate domestic politics in 2017 – and the University of Wolverhampton has got involved in the conversation, playing host to a visit by the Brexit Committee.

As well as debating with students, Hilary Benn spoke to the local press about the the process of triggering Article 50 and the need for clarity on the terms of Brexit.

Almost €390,000 will drive the three year, multi-partner Erasmus+ project, AEERO (Aerospace Engineering ECVET Resources Online), which will support the training needs of a sector in which there has been 30% productivity growth in the last five years. The University’s Faculty of Arts will work with local company, In-Comm Training, local manufacturing businesses and partner organisations based in Portugal and Italy to create a suite of online training resources. The project partners will analyse the training requirements of employers and employees and there will be ongoing engagement with key aerospace industry stakeholders across Europe. Sam Hope, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts, said: “The Midlands region is home to a quarter of the UK supply chain for the aerospace industry and represents 7% of the European sector and 3% globally. With over 45,000 employees the region supplies to the likes of Boeing, Airbus, BAE Systems and other global aircraft makers. “We will be working closely with partners to develop a shared, digital learning platform which is designed to meet user needs and will be made up of easily accessible, media-rich learning materials and resources, delivered in a creative and engaging way.”

The facility will be located on Skylon Park in the Hereford Enterprise Zone, where experts will work to fight constantly evolving cyber security hazards.

The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has successfully secured funding of £2.82 million on behalf of the University from the Government’s latest Growth Deal towards the cost of developing the Centre for Cyber Security, which will join the University’s Business Solutions Centre on Skylon Park.

Chaired by the former Shadow Defence Secretary Hilary Benn, the committee included local MPs Emma Reynolds, Pat McFadden, SNP member Peter Grant and former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, John Whittingdale.

The University has secured funding for a collaboration that will provide bespoke training skills to meet future demand in the aerospace sector.

A new specialist hub in Hereford will offer high quality research facilities and support for businesses tackling threats in cyberspace.

Cyber-crime currently costs the country between £18 billion and £27 billion a year with 65% of all large UK companies reporting a breach last year.

MPs visited the University in January, engaging with students on the process of Britain’s exit from the European Union.



SCIENCE PARK’S NEW HOME FOR INNOVATION The new £10.1 million, three-storey Science, Technology and Prototyping Centre will provide a home for innovative businesses at the University of Wolverhampton Science Park.

Professor Ian Oakes, the University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said: “The University has already formed strong, collaborative relationships with key companies to engage with cyber research, training programmes and enterprise development and has a number of research teams associated with the development of cyber security. “Our strategy is to bring together our collective expertise in a centre of excellence with partners both in the UK and internationally. It will organise, facilitate and support the development of cyber security on a global scale.”

Across 4,000m 2, unrivalled state-of-the-art facilities and laboratories will aid science and technology-based businesses, particularly in the aerospace, automotive, construction and life science sectors. Specialist equipment includes a PCR thermocycler, scanning spectrophotometer, Microbial Fermentation Suite for microbial culture, and tissue culture and drug testing facilities. Tenants will also be able to access highly talented graduates, world-leading research and business support channels, such as the Wolverhampton Business Solutions Centre and the Black Country Growth Hub. The Centre is due to be completed and open for business in spring 2017. To find out more, tel: 01902 824 000 or email:




Knowledge News Spring 17  

New Chartered Manager degree apprenticeship course launches during national Apprenticeship Week, the University's new £10M engineering facil...

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