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Electrification supercharging new degree apprenticeship

A new degree apprenticeship from Newcastle University will help businesses to close the electrification skills gap. Developed with industrial partners, the programme will receive

21 December 2023

In response to the national and regional need for training and skills development in electrification, Newcastle University is launching a new degree apprenticeship.

The Level 6 Product Design and Development Engineer standard will underpin the four year degree apprenticeship programme. Apprentices will continue to work with their employer, undertaking study part-time in an "earn and learn" approach.

Over four years apprentices will build engineering skills and knowledge in subjects including mechanics, materials, automatic control systems and semiconductors. In the final year apprentices will be able to follow one of three specialist pathways:

  • Batteries
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Power electronic, machines and drives 

The pathways reflect industrial demand and Newcastle University's existing research and teaching strengths.

Nissan's recent commitment of a further £2bn in the North East of England to produce three new electric car models is the flagship for a regional electrification cluster that includes global manufacturers and highly innovative SMEs.

Grow and develop talent

A 2021 survey of UK businesses by the Institution of Engineering and Technology found that 36% of engineering employers thought design and manufacturing skills would be important to support future growth. 35% identified energy and environmental sustainability as important too.

Sonia Dutton, Apprenticeships and CPD Senior Manager at Newcastle University said: "This degree apprenticeship has been developed with industrial partners to help develop the engineers and technologists that will drive greater innovation in electrification.

"The North East of England is bursting with engineering talent and investment. This degree apprenticeship will be a key part of the sector continuing to grow.

"We know employers are already struggling to recruit the talent that they need. The advantage of a degree apprenticeship approach is that employers can grow and develop their existing teams."

The apprenticeship will be launched formally during National Apprenticeship Week (05-11 February) early in the new year.

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