Guide to Higher Level Apprenticeships

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1 Guide to Higher Level Apprenticeships

2 02 Employ Clever with a Higher Level Apprenticeship North West Regional College, supported by the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL), Ulster University and many leading employers across the North West Region are delighted to announce a major new employment initiative for the North West Region. The College has secured funding to offer on 6 new Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) programmes tailored to industry needs. These programmes will offer employers an opportunity to employ clever through an initiative which is aimed at addressing high-level skills shortages which are increasingly evident across the region. What is a Higher Level Apprenticeship? A Higher Level Apprenticeship is a unique work-based programme which enables participants to earn while they learn and gain a nationally recognised professional qualification (Foundation Degree). Successful candidates will be employed in a company relevant to their chosen profession to gain valuable experience over a 2 or 3 year period. This experience will feature a close mentoring relationship and academic support provided by North West Regional College as they progress through the relevant Foundation Degree. The Higher Level Apprenticeship programme is widely recognised as the best combination of on the job training and employee higher level study available. The programme offers employees the opportunity to gain a third level qualification at Foundation Degree level, whilst improving business practice by developing a progressively skilled workforce essential for today s competitive economic climate.

3 03 Employ Clever with a Higher Level Apprenticeship North West Regional College has led the way in developing the Higher Level Apprenticeship framework within Northern Ireland based on strong links with academic partners and business. There is no cost to the employer for participation in the programmes outlined below. The College is now offering new programmes in six priority skill areas: Electrical and Electronic Engineering Mechanical Engineering Accountancy IATI Accounting Technicians Hospitality and Tourism Management Software Development Digital Marketing

4 04 The Apprentice... The Employer... Rebekah Glenn, a student at North West Regional College is pursuing a career with Deborah O Donnell Chartered Accountants while completing a Higher Level Apprenticeship in Accountancy. Speaking about the experience so far Rebekah said: The Higher Level Apprenticeship in Accountancy has been a very positive experience to date. I am studying towards a qualification as an Accounting Technician while working in Deborah O Donnell Chartered Accountants which is a very busy accountancy firm. Hands on experience paired with classroom based learning means I am learning the practical side of the subject as well as the theoretical. There is only so much you can learn from a text book! I was very reluctant to go to University and incur a debt so earning while learning has been the perfect solution! Charlene McMonagle, from Deborah O Donnell Chartered Accountants, said: This is our first year having a Higher Level Apprentice on board. Rebekah has been a real asset to the team. Her work ethic and commitment has been impressive since day one. Having come from an Accounting Technicians background myself I see the potential that exists for Rebekah to further her career in accountancy and I firmly believe that this route is massively beneficial to both the student and the employer. We are very keen to promote accountancy, a historically male dominated industry, as a career choice for females so having the opportunity to nurture a young and enthusiastic student fits perfectly with our own personal goals. Working with North West Regional College was very easy from the outset. We would strongly recommend other businesses to engage with the College and offer Higher Level Apprenticeships within their workplace.

5 05 The benefits for employers Higher Level Apprenticeships can deliver on many levels for business: 1. Meet the unique needs of your business With Higher Level Apprentices learning at work, they are able to develop the knowledge and occupational competencies demanded by specific job roles and meet the unique needs of your business. 2. Recruit from a larger talent pool Higher Level Apprenticeships enable businesses to attract and retain employees with potential, expanding workplace diversity and benefiting the local community and wider economy. 3. Increase your productivity Higher Level Apprentices can keep your business up-to-date with the latest techniques and technology, increasing your productivity for the future. 4. Fill your higher level skills gaps Higher level skills are vital to business performance and economic growth through Higher Level Apprenticeships; you can fill your higher level skills gaps efficiently and effectively by tailoring the learning to your workplace. 5. Clear progression routes There s a clear, work-based pathway, from craft to technician to professional and managerial skills, mapped out by the progression through intermediate, advanced and Higher Level Apprenticeships. 6. Attract higher calibre staff Higher Level Apprenticeships can attract higher calibre staff and help you develop a more motivated and committed workforce. 7. Develop existing staff You can develop existing staff as they work with your Higher Level Apprentice, through mentoring opportunities and more. 8. Train the way your business works Train the way your business works with a higher level apprentice, you are training someone for the way your business works from the start. The aim of the programmes is to develop the skills relevant to employers from day one.

6 06 How is the course delivered? The Foundation Degree qualification of the Higher Level Apprenticeship will be delivered part-time, one full day per week. Traditional teaching methods such as lectures, seminars and tutorials will be used. To ensure that North West Regional College fully meets its obligations under the Higher Level Apprenticeship programme, the College will appoint a mentor who will have responsibility for supporting Higher Level Apprentices in the workplace. The mentor will act as the contact between the College and the employer. They will also undertake all programme induction activities with the Higher Level Apprentices and their employer. For the duration the employer s participation in the programme, the mentor will remain as the key contact point for all matters. Work-based mentoring will be used to support the learning process for Higher Level Apprentices and will be particularly important in the Work-Based Learning Project modules. For such modules, it is anticipated that the Work Based Mentor (WBM) and the Course Director for the Foundation Degree will provide a supportive role. The delivery of the Higher Level Apprenticeship programme will be delivered through a blended approach and students can also log on remotely from their workplace or home to access learning materials and course content.

7 07 How to express an interest and get involved in the programme? 1. Assess your needs and decide on your requirements with the support of the Business Support Centre at North West Regional College. 2. If a new post is required, recruitment can then take place with the assistance of the College resources. 3. If up-skilling is required for an existing employee our Business Support Centre can assist with information and advice to match the suitable foundation degree to your specifi c needs. 4. Partner with the curriculum area to develop and deliver a working, mentoring and studying pathway to suit your business needs. The college will ensure a seamless approach is taken to limit the burden on your business from start to fi nish.

8 08 The recruitment process for the employer... There are two options for recruitment of a Higher Level Apprentice: 1: New job recruitment Taking on a Higher Level Apprentice is the same as recruiting for a new position within your organisation. Following your assessment of needs with the Business Support Centre at North West Regional West College an employer s recruitment session can be set-up to assist with the recruitment process. Apprentices may be recent school leavers who have undertaken A Levels or other relevant Level 3 qualifications. All applicants must be aged 18 years on or before 1st July 2016 and meet the minimum entry criteria set by the awarding body, further information is available on request. 2: In-house upskilling If your organisation can identify a skills gap in your workforce that could be addressed with a current employee the Higher Level Apprenticeship will provide an excellent opportunity for upskilling. The programme will allow you to enter a current employee onto the programme, provided they meet the necessary entry requirements, if you create a new role within the organisation to demonstrate career progression.

9 09 Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) in Accountancy Entry Requirements 280 UCAS points (A Level Grades B, B, C in any subjects), plus GCSE Grade B in English and Maths. Please note an Aptitude Test and/or Interview is required to gain entry onto this course. Course Overview This programme provides an alternative route to starting a career in the accountancy and finance profession. The HLA aims to provide applicants with an exciting on-the-job pathway into the accountancy and finance profession. The main features of the programme are; The apprentice will possess relevant A Level qualifications, or other suitable Level 3 qualifications; He/she will be selected for employment and/ or already employed by an accounting practice and will attend our College one day per week, studying for the professionally accredited Accounting Technician of Ireland (ATI) exams; The apprentice will be mentored by both a college and employer-based mentor; our College and the Department for Employment and Learning will cover all tuition fees and examination costs. Modules of study will include: Year 1: Year 2: Taxation, Financial Accounting, Law and Ethics, Business Management Advanced Taxation, Advanced Financial Accounting, Management Accounting, Integrated Accounting Systems Assessment consists of externally set, written exams for each unit of study in May each year and the completion of a work-based portfolio of evidence. For more information contact: Anne Marie Deehan Nicola Curry

10 10 Higher Level Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing (subject to DEL and City & Guilds Approval) Entry Requirements 120 UCAS points, plus GCSE Grade C or above in English and Maths. Please note that the entry requirements may be further enhanced by businesses and those applicants short-listed will be interviewed by the company prior to the offer of employment. Course Overview This two year Higher Level Apprenticeship qualification recognises the rapid growth and changes in the use of digital technologies in a business and is a vital and recognised route to train up individuals to work effectively within the social media and digital marketing industry. The tools and knowledge now required have evolved rapidly and this qualification has been developed with key industry experts and employers to engage apprentices into this field. As an employee in an SME you will develop your practical and knowledge-based skills, gain a university level and industry recognised qualification and earn a wage at the same time. You will be required to attend NWRC one day per week 9.00am-6.00pm during term time. The remaining 4 days will be based with your employer. Employers are seeking to attract applicants who have a keen interest in digital marketing, They expect candidates to have a can do attitude. Modules of study will include: Mandatory: Marketing Planning, Ethics & Legalities of Digital Marketing, Business Concepts, Project Management, Digital Marketing Metrics & Analytics, Professional & Personal Development Optional: Content Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, Designing an Effective Web Based User Experience, Marketing on Mobile, Principles of Social Media for Business, Video Software. Successful completion of the programme will facilitate entry to degree courses in Marketing, business or alternatively into employment. Job roles include Social Media Assistant, Digital Marketing Analyst, Digital Marketing Manager. For more information contact: Dympna Harley Nicola Curry

11 Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) in Software Development Entry Requirements 200 UCAS points, plus GCSE Grade C in English and Maths; OR 200 UCAS points, plus Ordinary D1 in English and Maths. A pre-course information session will be held for course applicants each applicant must attend. Course Overview This programme enables employees to undertake a Level 5 Foundation Degree in Software Development whilst remaining in employment. Apprentices will be employed, and the programme is delivered part time day release one day each week. The final year incorporates a Work Based Learning Module worth 50 credits and is undertaken in the workplace. For more information contact: Carmel Doherty Nicola Curry Modules of study will include: Interactive Web Design, Introduction to Programming, Mathematics for Software Development, Object Oriented Programming, Systems Analysis and Design, Relational Database Systems, Business Application Development, Networking and Architecture, Visual Programming and Data Structures and Work Based Learning. Successful completion of the Foundation Degree enables progression to the BSc (Hons) Computer Science at the Ulster University, similar degrees at other universities, or employment opportunities in this field.

12 12 Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) in Mechanical Engineering Entry Requirements 160 UCAS points (inc. one A-Level grade C from Maths, Physics, Chemistry or Design/ Technology). If not offering A-Level Maths you must have GCSE Maths at Grade B; OR BTEC Extended Diploma (18 units) in a relevant discipline, with a Merit or above in at least half of the units taken (inc. Maths and Mechanical Principles) & GCSE English Lang. and Maths at grade C or above. ILC UCAS Points (inc. Maths or Chemistry or Physics at Higher B1). If only offering Chemistry and / or Physics at Higher B1, minimum of Higher C1 Maths is required. Note: A minimum of 5 subjects in the Irish Leaving Certificate at least 4 of which should be at Higher Level. Access: Average mark of at least 50%, inc. passes in Maths and a Science subject. Course Overview This programme enables apprentices to undertake a Level 5 Foundation Degree in Mechanical Engineering whilst remaining in employment. The programme is delivered part time day release one day and evening per week. Whether you want to specialise in mechanical, manufacturing, production, aeronautical, energy supply, electronics, electrical, communications or maintenance engineering, there is a wide range of engineering opportunities available in Ireland, the UK and abroad. Modules of study will include: Mathematics for Engineering, Mechanical Science, Fluid, Graphical Communication and CAD, Business Management, Engineering Materials, Computer Aided Manufacture, Dynamics, Engineering Mechanics, Engineering Design with Parametric CAD, Further Mathematics for Engineers, Heat Transfer, Strength of Materials, Quality and Business Improvement Techniques, Work based learning. Careers in engineering are popular due to their prestige, positive job outlook and the higher than average salary. For more information contact: Paul Young Nicola Curry

13 13 Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) in Electrical & Electronic Engineering Entry Requirements 160 UCAS points (inc. one A-Level grade C in Maths, Physics, Chemistry or Design/ Technology). If you don t have A-Level Maths, you must have GCSE Maths at Grade B; or BTEC Extended Diploma (18 units) in a relevant discipline, with a Merit or above in at least half of the units taken (inc. Maths and Electrical Principles) & GCSE English Lang. and Maths at Grade C or above; OR 160 UCAS Points (inc. Maths or Chemistry or Physics at Higher B1). If only offering Chemistry and/or Physics at Higher B1, minimum of Higher C1 Maths. Note: A minimum of 5 subjects in the Irish Leaving Certificate, at least 4 of which should be at Higher Level. Access: Average mark of at least 50%, inc. Passes in Maths and Science subject. Course Overview This programme enables employees to undertake a Level 5 Foundation Degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering whilst remaining in employment. The programme is delivered part time day release one day and evening per week. This course will provide you with critical thinking and problem solving skills. The course is also highly practical, and graduates from the programme have excelled at university and in industry. Whether you want to specialise in electronics, communications, manufacture or maintenance, there is a wide range of engineering opportunities available in Ireland, the UK and abroad. Modules of study will include: Mathematics for Engineering, Electrical Science, Digital & Analogue Electronics, Microelectronic Principles, Application of Microcontrollers, Digital Systems, Analogue Electronics, Electrical & Electronic Principles, Electrical Principles, Programmable Logic Controllers, Power Electronics, Electronic Circuit Manufacture, Further Mathematics for Engineering, Operational Amplifiers Devices and Circuits, and Work based learning. Careers in engineering are popular due to their prestige, positive job outlook and the higher than average salary. For more information contact: Columba Toner Nicola Curry

14 14 Higher Level Apprenticeship in International Hospitality & Tourism Management / International Travel & Tourism Management Entry Requirements 80 UCAS points, plus GCSE Grade C in English & Maths; OR 80 UCAS points plus, Ordinary D1 in English & Maths. A pre-course information session will be held - each applicant must attend. Course Overview The Higher Level Apprenticeship programme is widely recognised as the best combination of on the job training and higher level study. Employees in the Hospitality, Travel or Tourism sectors can gain a third level qualification, a Foundation Degree, while in employment and working to develop industry related skills and knowledge. Core modules of study will include: Study Skills, Principles of Event Management, Contemporary Hospitality, Travel & Tourism, Research Methods for Hospitality, Travel & Tourism, Facility Operations, Accounts, Employability & Digital Media Skills, Work Based Learning, Leadership & People Management, Marketing & Entrepreneurship and Global Hospitality and Travel & Tourism Management Issues. Hospitality & Tourism Managment modules will include: Food & Beverage Operations and Culinary Operations. Travel & Tourism Management modules include: International Travel & Tourism Destinations and Domestic Tourism Operations. Work Based mentoring will be provided to support the learning process and in addition some delivery will be through a blended approach as students can log on remotely from their workplace or home to access learning materials and course content. By successfully completing the course, students will have the opportunity to progress to a number of degree programmes at Universities within the UK and Ireland. Exemptions for modules already achieved will be determined by the specific degree applied to as well as the Universities regulations in relation to exemptions. For more information contact: Luane Quigley Nicola Curry

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16 For further information contact: Nicola Curry Business Development, NWRC M: W: E:

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