Vince Cable in call for ‘elite apprentices’ to take degrees

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The Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable MP told a national summit on apprentices at the University of Sheffield that the UK needs a new model of high level, high status technical education which combines academic and applied knowledge.

Speaking at the University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, he described the need for a range of elite apprenticeships, with progression up to degree level and beyond, supported by a new generation of National Colleges focusing on higher level technical training.

His speech took place at a National Summit which brought together partners from industry, universities and skills policy as well as representatives of the 150 advanced apprentices currently working with the AMRC Training Centre.

The event was held in association with the Department of Business, Industry and Skills and Sheffield’s Global Manufacturing Festival, and included speakers from industrial partners such as Rolls-Royce.

Vince Cable said: “We need to end the stereotype that apprenticeships are for those who do not get to university.

“Increasingly apprenticeships are not just a valid alternative to going to university, but can actually include degrees.

“Degree level apprenticeships give businesses the opportunity to develop training and education programmes designed to equip learners with the skills their business needs.”