Our commitment to apprenticeships
Studying while working
The University of Portsmouth has a clear 2030 Vision and 2025 Strategy.
Our clear aspiration is to develop knowledge, skills and behaviours for all of our students and apprentices.
Our Vision and Strategy align with the national priorities and core objectives for apprenticeships, i.e. to upskill the workforce and enhance productivity to support economic growth.
The University of Portsmouth (UoP) provides opportunities to all students through excellence in teaching and professional education.
As a University with distinctive strengths in real life learning, including distance learning, workplace learning and continuing professional development (CPD), the move into delivering apprenticeships was a natural step for the University, allowing us to meet the demand from employers and apprentices.
We work closely with employers to develop a curriculum that inspires and educates their apprentices and allows them to meet their professional and personal development needs.
This 'Commitment to Apprenticeships' supports a number of the University’s key strategic commitments as outlined here and the approach is embedded into our 2030 Vision. Our apprenticeship portfolio includes a wide selection of apprenticeships at levels 6 and 7, across a wide range of occupational areas.
Mission and values
Our mission is to create, share and apply knowledge to make a difference to individuals and society. That mission underpins our delivery and development of apprenticeships in the following ways:
Our intent is to provide degree apprenticeships across a wide range of occupational areas that meet the needs of employers and apprentices.
Developing the curriculum content to ensure it is fit for purpose is our priority and we will work with employers and other external bodies to ensure the apprentices acquire the knowledge, skills and behaviours specified within the apprenticeship standard.
We will develop, approve and deliver apprenticeship courses that deliver the required competencies for apprentices.
We will assess the apprentice’s starting point via initial assessment and track progress of apprentices throughout their apprenticeship, ensuring apprentices are stretched and challenged to achieve their potential.
Our aim is to develop well rounded apprentices and graduates who can put into practice in the workplace the learning they have gained on their degree apprenticeship.
We want all apprentices and graduates to make a positive impact in their workplace, as well as the wider community and economy, and to improve their personal development.
Our Values underpin everything we do:
- We pursue bold ideas in an environment where creativity, innovation and success is encouraged and celebrated
- We nurture and value relationships and partnerships that foster a global outlook
- We inspire and support staff and students to achieve their potential and meet the challenges of society
- We never settle for second best
- We act with integrity for the greater good
- We insist on upholding the highest academic and professional standards
- We respect and celebrate diversity and equal opportunity through an inclusive culture
- We aim for sustainability across all our activities
- We work consultatively and collaboratively to benefit from new perspectives
- We share ideas and maintain transparency
- We are trustworthy and do what we say we will do
- We listen and respond to the needs of our students and staff
The University of Portsmouth is committed and strives through its commitment to accessibility, affordability, diversity, transparency and accountability, to support apprentices from all backgrounds to achieve their potential.
We welcome and support applications from apprentices from all backgrounds and will work with the apprentice and employer to accommodate their needs during the initial discussions and application stage.
We aspire to allow all learners to access the education that is right for them regardless of age, disability, gender, sexuality, socio-economic background or ethnicity.
We believe that gaining qualifications through apprenticeships is particularly relevant to learning in adulthood and that education should be available to individuals of all ages through every stage of their career.
The progression of learners from lower level apprenticeships (levels 3 to 5) to our apprenticeship offer at level 6 and 7 allow the apprentice to develop and improve their skills throughout their career which in turn will benefit their employer and the economy in higher productivity levels.
Progression from level 6 to level 7 apprenticeships is also critical to developing the apprentices at a higher level.
Our University 2030 Vision and Strategy 2025 sets out our vision and strategy for all our educational provision and addresses our apprenticeship offer through our commitment to:
Engage every student in a life-changing experience
Through innovative and inclusive education, every student – irrespective of their background – will reach their potential, with outstanding outcomes and employability.
Meet changing demand and widen participation
We will have 10,000 more students – including growth beyond Portsmouth, through our physical and digital presence.
Become one of the UK’s leading civic universities
We will be recognised as setting a new benchmark for civic engagement through the positive differences we make across our region.
Responding to local and national needs and priorities
In developing this 'Commitment to Apprenticeships', the University of Portsmouth has taken into account:
- The overarching UK Industrial Strategy (Industrial Strategy: Building a Britain Fit for the Future, 2017)
- Local skills requirements, in particular those identified by Solent LEP
- Shaping the Future: Skills and Labour Market Strategy 2020–2025
- Skills for Jobs: Lifelong Learning for Opportunity and Growth (January 2021)
Growth and sustainability
The University is committed to expanding its apprenticeship provision into new areas that are aligned with its strategic goals and priority of employers, apprentices and partners.
In addition, the University works closely with the local Further Education (FE) College sector to promote progression to our Apprenticeship offer. This can include ladders of progression showing the clear path for an apprentice or student from a level 3 apprenticeship to a level 7 apprenticeship.
Oversight and governance
The governance of our apprenticeship activity follows established structures within the University with specific committees and operational groups in place to:
- Identify and mitigate specific risks
- Monitor activity, delivery and performance at appropriate levels, and implement mitigating actions and enhancement plans
- Oversee actions in academic schools/departments in terms of recommendations and their subsequent impact on KPIs
- Oversight by the Academic Council and the Board of Governors, and their constituent committees
Leadership and management
At an executive level, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor holds the strategic responsibility for apprenticeships.
The Executive Director of Corporate Governance is the Prevent and Safeguarding Lead.
In response to the apprenticeship expansion, the University has established a centralised degree apprenticeship team to coordinate activity, with each faculty and professional service department actively involved.
Responsibility for standards and quality rests with Academic Standards, Quality and Partnerships in the Department for Student and Academic Administration.
The student learning experience is at the heart of the University’s mission. The University is committed to seeking the views of our apprenticeship learners at specific points in the apprenticeship journey.
Apprentices will be able to formally communicate their views and opinions via surveys, through the active course representative system including through Student Voice Committees and Boards of Studies, and via the University of Portsmouth Students Union, as well as through a range of other opportunities to provide informal feedback.
Equality and diversity
The University of Portsmouth is committed to providing and supporting an environment and culture that promotes equality and diversity with all our apprentices.
We value the diversity of our community and we aim to create an environment of respect where all are treated equally and where staff and apprentices can reach their full potential.
The University is committed to promoting staff development to ensure all of our staff involved in apprenticeships have access to CPD activities that improve their knowledge of apprenticeships.
As a result, Continuing Professional and Personal Development (CPD) is a requirement for staff, particularly teaching staff.
Additional staff development training is available to all staff via the university’s staff development programme.
The University is committed to using appropriate data to underpin decision-making, linking data to a series of operational targets and KPIs.
The University reviews key metrics using a data dashboard approach. The key headline KPIs focus on recruitment, attendance, retention, progression, student experience and completion.
These targets are reviewed each year to align with the University’s 2030 Vision and 2025 Strategic goals.
The University will maintain and proactively manage an operational plan for its apprentices to focus on the core priorities, which are to:
- Ensure consistent high quality delivery of apprenticeships across all our faculties
- Continuously improve, innovate and adapt as required
- Work with key employers to support local priorities and the local economy
- Ensure we are compliant with all apprenticeship rules and funding requirements as set by regulatory bodies e.g. Ofsted, ESFA, OfS, Ofqual, and QAA
To underpin its quality provision, the University also has a Self Assessment Report (SAR) with Quality Improvement Plans (QIP) (or similar documents), which are at the heart of our quality oversight and are used to drive continual improvement of the quality of our apprenticeship provision, and of the apprentice experience.
Policies and strategies
This 'Commitment to Apprenticeships' should be read in conjunction with the suite of University Policies, Regulations, Guidance and Strategies.
In particular, the following are relevant to the delivery of apprenticeships: