The creation of new programmes, new funding streams and greater employer-institutional partnerships means that, more than ever, businesses can look to the university sector for competitive advantage.


The rapid embracing of degree apprenticeships by the university sector is exceptional, with over 8,000 degree apprentices starting a Level 6 or Level 7 apprenticeship since they were introduced and over 100 universities on the Register of Approved Training Providers.

From December 2019, the University of York is also embracing this opportunity by developing and offering degree apprenticeships across a range of specialisms. Our first programmes include the Nursing Associate (NMC 2018) Level 5 and the Advanced Clinical Practice Level 7 with swathes of other programmes proposed to launch from 2021.

Developing with employers

Since the levy was introduced, employers have been investing increasing amounts of time understanding how the new apprenticeships regime works and how this can be used to recruit, develop and retain talent that they need now and in the future.

All of our programmes actively encourage programme co-development with our employer partners as no-one understands their own skills needs better!  Furthermore, we provide our employer partners with support on their own internal processes surrounding apprenticeships, for example ensuring line managers are fully equipped to provide appropriate support and mentoring.

Innovations in teaching and learning

By working with and learning from our employer partners, we are constantly developing innovative approaches to our teaching and learning including the design of programme-specific workplace mentoring models; and the introduction of our ePortfolio – an agile, reflective and evidence-based tool to assess occupational competencies and to demonstrate achievement of the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) within an apprenticeship standard.

Business perspective

Before joining the University, Brian was responsible for apprenticeships schemes with Asda, BPP and Kaplan, and has, by his own estimates, overseen over 10,000 apprentices across more than 60 programmes. This gives him a strong position from which to advise businesses on maximising the value from their apprenticeship schemes and levy. He strongly advocates apprenticeships as a means of business future-proofing, saying “Its important to consider your current business skills needs when creating a programme, but also to consider how they are likely to have changed in, for example, 5 years”.

To find out more about becoming an apprenticeship partner, please contact Brian Culleton on 01904 328946 or via

Developing all-round leaders

“In times of great change and uncertainty, effective leadership becomes even more vital to ensure that everyone in the organisation is driven by a common goal”

Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD) “Leadership in the workplace” Viewpoint

The University of York works in collaboration with businesses to develop the skills of their workforce through innovative and impactful training. Our consultative approach ensures we really understand the challenges facing a business and the individuals who will attend the training.

Establishing business needs

The CPD Unit worked with senior leaders at a private education provider to help them identify the learning needs of 20 heads of departments. A training needs analysis was undertaken through questionnaires and meetings with leaders and potential delegates.

Our immersive approach informed not just the content but how it is delivered; blending teaching with coaching and action-learning has proven to be the right method of training for this organisation. The consultative approach suited the individuals, and can be delivered flexibly around a busy teaching timetable. Most importantly, by building a trusted advisor relationship with the organisation, we are able to help embed the theory into practice and habit, ensure the training sticks, and delivers a significant observable impact.

Retention and progression

The CPD Unit worked with a leading professional services organisation for 6 years to deliver a leadership development programme for over 120 senior managers resulting in an increase in retention and progression through the business, directly attributable to the University of York courses.

Regional focus

As well as working with a number of global organisations, the University of York has a strong track record of working in partnership with regional businesses to help them grow and develop their workforce. Since 2017 we have delivered courses to over 800 staff from over 170 businesses, with 2/3rds of those based in the region.

For more information on training, and current funding options, contact Anna Hastie on 01904 325143 or via