Kirsty Williams, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Education Minister, has launched a pilot degree apprenticeship scheme backed by £20m in funding.
Degree apprenticeships allow students to experience an industry-designed degree while having their fees paid for. Students work throughout their degree, splitting their time between their university and their employer and developing the skills to excel in both.
Courses are available in key sector for economic growth, including IT, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing. In 2019-20 subjects include Software Engineering, Cyber Security and Data Analytics. The scheme will be run by universities and is fully funded by the Welsh Government.
The Progressive Agreement – the agreement which led to Kirsty Williams entering the Welsh Government – committed to promoting and enhancing both academic and vocational routes in further and higher education.
Jane Dodds, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:
“The Welsh Liberal Democrats are committed to widening access to higher education, which includes diversifying the routes through which people access our universities. Degree apprenticeships offer a combination of employment and academia that offer a valuable set of skills, knowledge and experience.
“This is an important scheme, backed by significant investment, that will bring real benefits for people in Wales.”
Kirsty Williams, Welsh Liberal Democrat Education Minister, said:
“Our education system needs to reflect a changing job market, giving people the skills they need to succeed in the future. A vital part of this is expanding the type of courses higher education has to offer, widening participation and access in doing so.
“This scheme has been developed in conjunction with our universities, in the interests of our learners, Welsh employers and the Welsh economy."