NAW2022: University’s collaborations with employers and public services help ‘build the future’

NAW2022: University’s collaborations with employers and public services help ‘build the future’  name

Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week 2022 (NAW2022), supporting public services and employers continues to be a leading focus for the University of Cumbria.

Helping to ‘Build the Future’ – the theme for NAW 2022 – the university, with its range of varied and flexible apprenticeship programmes, is contributing to the national effort to train and have more qualified frontline professionals including police officers, nurses, and paramedics. 

The University of Cumbria is celebrating the achievements of its first cohort of students that has successfully completed one of the country’s first Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship programmes. The nursing apprentices began in February 2018 and went on to work throughout the coronavirus pandemic. 

At its Lancaster campus, the university’s Institute of Health has hosted a celebration and careers event for the group, where students gained further insight into advanced roles available in the health and social care sectors. 

Meanwhile the 1,000th trainee police officer has started their degree apprenticeship that is being delivered by the Police Education Consortium (PEC), of which the University of Cumbria is one of four delivery partners. 

Since 2019, and in line with reforms to national police recruitment criteria, the PEC - made up of the Universities of Cumbria, Canterbury Christ Church, Middlesex, and Portsmouth - has been providing Police Constable Degree Apprenticeships and Degree Holder Entry Programmes to new police recruits joining Surrey, Sussex, and Hampshire Constabularies.  

Supported by a team of former experienced officers turned academics, more than 200 of the apprentices recruited to date are students at the University of Cumbria, with a further 100 due to start this year. 

And 2022 is set to deliver further growth for higher and degree level apprenticeships at the University of Cumbria as it continues to work with national and regional employer partners including ambulance trusts, independent imaging providers such as Alliance Medical, police forces, the NHS, DEFRA, Forestry Commission, and others to address the demand for higher-level skills. 

The University of Cumbria currently teaches around 1,200 apprentice learners and supports 200 employers to upskill their workforce.


By the end of this academic year, the university will: 


  • be delivering its acclaimed Paramedic Degree Apprenticeship to around 600 new recruits across seven of England’s ambulance trusts – including over 260 in London, 
  • see the Police Education Consortium welcome its 2,000 trainee police officer on one of its degree-level programmes, supporting three forces in south east England. 


Other degree-level, vocational-based programmes provided by the University of Cumbria and its industry partners include: 


  • BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography (AP Progression) Apprenticeship,  
  • Healthcare Assistant Practitioner,
  • Nursing Associate (Apprenticeship), 
  • Advanced Clinical Practitioner Apprenticeship, 
  • Postgraduate Diploma (PgD) District Nursing Apprenticeship, 
  • Senior Leader (Degree), 
  • BSc (Hons) Project Manager Degree Apprenticeship, and 
  • Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship. 


A new midwife apprenticeship, approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council subject to standard conditions being met, is also going to begin recruitment for September 2022. 


Michelle Garner, Head of Student Recruitment and Portfolio Development at the University of Cumbria’s Institute of Health, said: “We are extremely proud to have been able to support our trailblazing students on the first Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship programme. We wanted to hold a special event to recognise their achievements, particularly considering the unprecedented and uncertain times that these students have faced, undertaking their nursing apprenticeship during the pandemic. Notwithstanding the Covid crisis, this has been an exemplar of our strong partnerships with employers to support the development of the nursing and health care workforce.” 


Paul Armstrong, Head of Apprenticeships at the University of Cumbria, said: “Progress onto a higher and degree level apprenticeship in Cumbria at the age of 18 is three times as high as nationally, with continued increases in the uptake of these higher apprenticeships too. The University of Cumbria is proud of the collaborative role it plays with partners to upskill workforce teams in existing and emerging industries to address higher-level skills and sector needs.  

“It is also our University’s mission to support students of the future, helping them to become skilled, resilient and ready to lead the long-term recovery society faces and support our communities to be more prosperous and to thrive.” 

Employers and employees interested in a work-based, university-level apprenticeship can find out more here.