Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education the Rt Hon Robert Halfon has praised the University of East London (UEL) for its progressive approach to jobs, skills, and mental health.
After hearing about UEL’s actions in supporting students in both their welfare and career aspirations, Mr Halfon said,
Every university should be like this.”
The Minister visited the University’s Docklands Campus on Thursday 2 November, to hear, in particular, about degree apprenticeships and the skills agenda.
A delegation from the University, headed by the Vice Chancellor and President Professor Amanda Broderick, and including students, alumni and academics, offered insights and personal experiences during an informal question and answer session.
The Minister heard how the University now offers 1,600 apprenticeships across 13 courses in four schools, specifically targeting areas where there are notable skills shortages. Professor Broderick was able to tell him that UEL is already exceeding the government’s proposed 2025 target of 67 per cent of completion in apprenticeships – UEL’s rate is 76 per cent, a success attributed in part to strong and engaged industry partnerships and the offer to apprentices of a full university experience.
He also gained an insight into how initiatives such as the "levelling up" Diversity of Thought employer partnership programme, are driving social mobility and diversifying the talent pipeline.
Mr Halfon said, “Throughout my political life, it’s been my passion in politics to champion apprenticeship skills.”
He said, as part of his skills agenda, he had taken action, including changing the law, to ensure that school leavers were informed about apprenticeships, which the degree apprentices in the room had also advocated.
He added, “It's changing in a big way, but there's a long way to go.”