Manchester Metropolitan University: Transforming the workforce through digital skills (Local Digital Capital case study)
To coincide with the publication of our 2022 Local Digital Capital Index report, a tool designed to aid discussions and decisions in strengthening local tech ecosystems across the UK, we asked the techUK community to provide case studies to celebrate the contributions made by the tech sector to drive forward levelling up, digital adoption, develop digital skills, connect people, and harness R&D in the UK’s nations and regions.
This case study is focused on digital skills.
Manchester Met is the leading university provider of apprenticeships in the UK*, partnering with over 540 local and national organisations and educating over 2,400 apprentices across a range of undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications.
The University offers a number of Digital Degree Apprenticeship courses and was awarded the Digital Apprenticeship Provider of the Year award at the prestigious AAC Apprenticeship Awards in 2020.
Supporting the tech infrastructure of Manchester has been a strong focus of the University. As well as partnering with a range of Manchester-based organisations to upskill their staff, Manchester Met recently opened their new School of Digital Arts (SODA). This state-of-the-art building development is home to Manchester Met’s Creative Digital Design Professional Degree Apprenticeship and the Digital User Experience (UX) Professional Degree Apprenticeship.
Developed collaboratively with employers, Man Met’s Creative Digital Design Professional course is suitable for existing employees or new recruits looking to bring expertise in 3D modelling, branding and mobile first design. Through this, businesses are finding that they can benefit from well-designed digital content, communication, services, and creative digital solutions. Additionally, the University’s Digital User Experience Professional course allows for new or existing employees to progress their knowledge of UX substantially.
These two courses, along with the Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship, and Digital and Technology Solutions (Masters) Degree Apprenticeship have led to the progression of women in STEM, with 34% of Manchester Met’s STEM apprentices being women. This marks a notable improvement on the national undergraduate average of 22% reported by the Office for Students (2020).
A few testimonials from people who benefited from these courses are detailed below:
- Alissa Koupal of Pennine Events had the following to say on her experience as an employer, working with Manchester Met, on the University’s Digital Marketer Degree Apprenticeship: “It has been fantastic working with Manchester Met. Our apprentice has been fully supported and we've had regular meetings with their tutors and their mentors. We've had full updates from them. And it's just been a really smooth journey over the last few years.”
- Kashif Taj, Apprentice Lead, IBM UK said, “Degree Apprenticeships enable IBM to attract diverse talent, which is essential for innovation. Our degree apprentices have proven to be highly successful in terms of their career velocity and adding value to the business. Degree programmes such as Digital and Technology Solutions enables our apprentices to develop a broad set of knowledge, technical skills and behaviours which complement various entry-level roles in consulting and deeper technical roles. I have found that many of our senior leaders are passionate about apprenticeships in terms of recruiting raw talent and enabling IBM careers to be more accessible across the UK demographic.”
- James Healy, Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship at The Travel Visa Company Ltd found the Apprenticeship drastically improved his career opportunities and said: “The chance to study for a degree that is fully-funded is an incredible opportunity. This, along with earning a good wage and gaining work-based experience at the same time was something that I could not say no to. Graduating with a degree in any specialism was something that I never thought I would ever have the ability to do. I saw it as a chance for me to develop my technical skills, secure a full-time job and earn a new qualification.”
Employers interested in collaborating with Manchester Metropolitan University can contact the Degree Apprenticeships unit here.
* RateMyApprenticeship 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
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