Developing bright minds: How WMG and Jaguar Land Rover’s degree apprenticeships open an exciting new road
Apprentices are working in salaried jobs for an iconic motoring brand while studying for a degree without incurring costs or debt.
Think of apprenticeships and you probably think of traditional trades – plumbing, joinery, that kind of thing.
They’re an age-old, proven route for young people looking to break into an industry and kickstart their career while earning as well as learning.
But degree apprenticeships are something slightly different; a relatively new twist on a concept dating back centuries.
By combining time in paid employment with days studying in academia, they offer an attractive blend of educational development and practical experience – not least because they also leave students with no debt at the end of their programme.
So it’s little surprise, then, that more and more degree apprenticeships are being launched each year to give ambitious young people another option to consider.
Jaguar Land Rover and WMG, the academic department at the University of Warwick that partners with the private and public sectors to drive forward science, technology and engineering, have come together to do just that.
In fact, they’ve partnered to create two such programmes that offer both the prestigious experience that comes with studying at Warwick and the chance to put innovation into action for one of the most iconic names in the automotive industry.
Degrees with a difference
First, let’s look at the courses in question, both of which will accept new applications from January 2023.
The Level 6 Applied Professional Engineering Degree Apprenticeship Programme (APEP) puts students into work on groundbreaking projects alongside real experts, with pathways available in production design and development, manufacturing, electrical or electronic technical support, and control technical support.
At the same time, those on the course study for a BEng in Applied Professional Engineering Programme from Warwick, giving them a degree from a renowned Russell Group member.
The Level 6 Digital and Technology Solutions (DTS) Degree Apprenticeship, meanwhile, provides pathway choices in software engineering, software engineering with data, data analytics, and cybersecurity.
Those completing that programme will achieve a BSc in Digital and Technology Solutions from Warwick.
Both courses run for four years, pay a salary of £24,480 and come with the added benefit of tuition fees being paid by Jaguar Land Rover through the Apprenticeship Levy – something that puts them in especially high demand.
“I wanted to be able to apply what I was learning to the real world, so the apprenticeship was the perfect opportunity for that,” Beverley Ngo, a current DTS apprentice, said.
“The funded degree and salary was obviously a bonus, too! The degree itself appealed to me as I have always enjoyed maths and problem solving, so DTS felt like the right fit for me.”
Those following Beverley’s lead can expect to access a blend of personal and professional training and development from Jaguar Land Rover.
Apprentices study a range of core modules throughout the first three years, consisting of block teaching weeks, online and independent learning that mean they typically spend one week of every six on their university studies.
What’s more, they work at a company that has long valued apprentices and given them a platform to grow from.
Nick Rogers left his role as Jaguar Land Rover’s Executive Director of Product Engineering in 2021 after rising to the boardroom in a 37-year spell at the company that started when he joined as an apprentice in 1984.
A chance to enjoy the best of both
While university and apprenticeships may seem like two chalk and cheese options available for young people, the reality is degree apprenticeships offer another credible and attractive route to anyone with a drive to both earn and learn.
The close partnership of Jaguar Land Rover and Warwick – the two organisations collaborate on projects at the National Automotive Innovation Centre on the University campus – puts two such programmes within easy reach for those who meet the entry criteria.
And WMG has also partnered with Goldman Sachs and Man Group to offer a Digital Technology Solutions Specialist Master’s degree apprenticeship for experienced employees and new graduates alike.
At Jaguar Land Rover, apprentices like Beverley are busy putting theories from lecture halls into practice in world-class facilities – a truly unique opportunity.