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2022 / 2023 Edition

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UDC nominated for Lord Stafford Award

Pioneering university apprenticeship programme secures nomination for prestigious award

AN innovative Higher Apprenticeship qualification developed by the University of Derby Corporate (UDC) and industry experts has received a nomination for a prestigious Lord Stafford Award.

The consortium, comprising UDC, Hanson UK, the Institute of Quarrying (IQ) and the Mineral Products Qualification Council (MPQC), has been shortlisted for an ‘Open Collaboration Award’. The team will be competing against the University of Birmingham for the accolade, which celebrates innovation through business and university partnerships.

The work-based ‘Higher Apprenticeship in Mineral Processing Technology’ has been developed to attract new talent into the industry and to encourage the next generation of workers to gain higher education qualifications and experience while building their careers.

Through this apprenticeship, workers are able to ‘earn while learning’ with the potential for ‘top-up’ to attain degree-level qualifications, while employers have the opportunity to shape young talent, allowing workers to gain industry-relevant experience.

Andrew Hartley, managing director of UDC, said: ‘By working closely with our industry partners we were able to respond quickly and accurately in the development of the Higher Apprenticeship, which meets the demands of our client and, moving forwards, the wider industry.

'It also adds to our existing portfolio of courses for the extractives industry, which have been developed in partnership with the Institute of Quarrying, Institute of Asphalt Technology and the Concrete Society.

‘Nomination for this award recognizes the unique approach we have at UDC in responding to employers’ workforce development requirements. Higher Apprenticeships are a relatively new concept and not all employers understand their potential, or how they can help them to develop their workforce. I hope that our knowledge and experience in their development can benefit other employers in the future.’

David Sharman, corporate director at Hanson UK, added: ‘Our industry’s great strength is also a potential weakness; we have a loyal, experienced and long-serving workforce with a huge depth of expertise and knowledge, which makes it very easy to overlook the fact that we will have to replace them at some stage.

‘This project is designed to bring enthusiastic young people into the business and give them the training and skills they need to become the next generation of supervisors, managers and business leaders.’

The Joint Consultative Committee (JCC), for the Quarrying and Asphalt Technology and Concrete courses, which includes representatives from the industry customer base, professional bodies, academics and students, has been involved in ensuring the programmes of study, qualifications and support for learners are suitable for the needs of the industry.

The Lord Stafford Awards, which have been running since 1997, aim to encourage all businesses and universities to participate in collaborative activity, and to embrace innovation. The consortium will find out if it has been successful at a black-tie ceremony being held at The Ricoh Arena in Coventry on 15 November.

For further information about courses in quarrying, asphalt, clay and concrete technology, visit www.derby.ac.uk/corporate

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