As 2017’s National Apprenticeship Week gets underway, Southampton Solent University’s Head of Apprenticeships, David Moxon, reflects on the institution’s experience so far…


For Solent, apprenticeships are a key part of building a future that benefits our students, staff, businesses and the wider community.


We know that jobs and skills in our region and across the country are being significantly impacted by the changing external landscape, so we are shaping our offer to ensure we continue to be part of a positive and inclusive solution.


As part of our focus on real world learning, we have been successfully delivering apprenticeships within the health sector for five years and have also been involved in the trailblazer development of standards for health, leadership and management, and construction, as well as the employer role for higher education.


This has involved working with businesses to help them realise there is an urgent and growing need to engage with education and skills providers, and to show them that where this happens, we are in a position to provide the qualifications and experience they need now, and for the future.


We have also been able to demonstrate to industry that engaging with higher and degree level apprenticeships is an excellent opportunity to identify and nurture the talent within their organisations, and shape the skill sets that will provide an advantage in an increasing competitive world.


On the other side, we have been using our close relationships with schools, FE colleges and other training providers, not just to deliver on the apprenticeship agenda, but to help them explore the ways in which this type of training can give more young people an easier entry into the world of work.


It has been exciting to explore just how many sectors will benefit from this new approach. Our early areas of focus include leadership and management, construction, engineering, digital and healthcare. However, we are now also responding to requests for support in areas including accountancy, law, human resources, project management and financial services.


There are numerous opportunities, however our work so far has shown us that while businesses have a high levels of interest, many are also struggling to get to grips with the regulations and policy surrounding the apprenticeship process.


To help overcome this, we have been using our expertise to work closely with companies in order to first identify their needs and requirements. From there, we explore what approach, whether that is working as a main provider or in partnership with FE colleges and private training providers, will allow us to deliver a complete and efficient solution.


We know the Solent is an area with many strengths, and now apprenticeships are an opportunity for the education sector and businesses to come together to utilise their assets and to ensure we are all in the best possible position for whatever the future brings.


If you’d like any advice on the apprenticeship levy or Solent’s apprenticeship offer, please email