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Apprenticeships Minister opens £10 million WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre, at the University of Warwick

Left to right - Degree Apprentice Rishi Chohan, Apprenticeship Minister Gillian Keegan MP, Professor Robin Clark from WMG, Tony Minhas CWLEP, Margot James WMG, and Degree Apprentice Beverley NgoOn Thursday 17th June 2021 Gillian Keegan MP, the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, formally opened the WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre, at the University of Warwick.

The WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre was awarded £10 million funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP).

The new Centre provides apprentices with the opportunity to study on degree programmes to develop the skills needed by advanced engineering and manufacturing companies.

The Centre offers degree apprenticeship training programmes for up to 1,000 students at a time.

WMG and the rest of the University of Warwick already provides 20 Degree Apprenticeship programmes across five academic departments for 791 students, one of the largest groups of degree apprenticeship courses at a Russell Group university.

Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills Gillian Keegan said:

“It was such a privilege to open the WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre at Warwick University. Apprenticeships are a brilliant way for people of any age to launch new careers or progress in their industry, with opportunities at a range of levels across a variety of exciting sectors.

“As a former apprentice myself I know first-hand the lifelong passion for learning an apprenticeship can instil. It was wonderful to speak to Beverley and Rishi and hear their passion for where their apprenticeship journey will take them. I look forward to seeing how the centre will support the leaders of tomorrow to get the skills they need to succeed.”

The degree apprenticeship students will complete their studies at the University campus in conjunction with their employment at companies throughout Coventry and Warwickshire and the West Midlands.

Rishi Chohan, Degree Apprentice from the Manufacturing Technology Centre, said “It was a great pleasure to show Gillian Keegan MP around WMG’s fantastic Degree Apprenticeship Centre. As a final year degree apprentice, on the Applied Engineering Programme, the skills I have learnt at WMG, University of Warwick, have helped consolidate and facilitate my development as an engineer progressing into leadership at the Manufacturing Technology Centre.

Beverley Ngo, Degree Apprentice from Jaguar Land Rover, adds: “It was a pleasure to attend the official opening of the WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre. I am a second year degree apprentice at Jaguar Land Rover and part of the first cohort of Digital Apprentices on the “Digital Technology Solutions” course. It was an honour to meet and show Gillian Keegan MP around the fantastic building that I will be learning and developing knowledge in such an important area of technology.”

Apprenticeships Minister Gillian Keegan MP with some of the degree apprenticeship students in the new Degree Apprenticeship Centre The innovative new Degree Apprenticeship Centre has a unique learning environment with open spaces for collaborative and individual work, technology-enabled seminar rooms and a purpose-built, multifunctional, laboratory for activity based teaching and learning using state of the art equipment. The WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre is the first stage of a future Degree Apprenticeship complex at the campus to train students in a range of Degree Apprenticeships.

At the official opening WMG Executive Chair Margot James said:

“We are delighted to welcome Gillian here today to officially open the WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre, and recognise the importance of our vital work with industry. Our Apprenticeship Centre provides the opportunity for apprentices to study whilst working in their companies, upskilling our workforce and bringing tangible benefits to advanced engineering and the manufacturing sector, to ensure the UK remains competitive”

The University of Warwick’s Vice Chancellor Professor Stuart Croft:

“Warwick’s degree apprenticeships are founded on passion, knowledge, and a commitment to innovation. We demonstrate this in the way we work with industry and other partners and our degree apprenticeship students.”

“We encourage gifted apprentices from all backgrounds to share our passion who want to have the opportunity to earn as they learn and pursue exciting careers in their chosen field from day one of their time on these programmes.”

“Employers also value the passion and innovation of these students who will help close the skills gaps and inspire positive change both inside and outside the workplace.”

“As a university we are deeply committed to continue to expand our routes to degree qualifications.”

Marion Plant, Board Director and Chair of the CWLEP’s Productivity and Skills Business Group, said:

“This is a significant project funded by the CWLEP and fits in perfectly with our Strategic Reset Framework to provide high quality jobs and levelling up opportunities by supporting the development of higher-level skills.

“It is vital for the long-term ambitions of Coventry and Warwickshire’s economy that we retain talented people in the area by ensuring employers have the skills their future workforces will need to drive forward the innovations for which we are renowned in automotive and advanced manufacturing, to be globally competitive in an increasingly digitised world.”

Left to right -  Apprenticeship Minister Gillian Keegan MP, Professor Robin Clark WMG, Tony Minhas CWLEP, Margot James WMG _Work-based learning has always been a key part of WMG’s philosophy they are passionate about offering apprentices an integrated experience and supporting companies with their workforce strategies – be it recruiting the next generation of talent or upskilling or reskilling existing employees to support career paths and changes in business need.

Businesses today are rapidly changing and the skills they require to develop and grow are changing equally as quickly. People are already doing jobs that did not exist 10 years ago and the events of 2020 have precipitated even greater change. Working collaboratively at a broader level with industry, other training providers and specialist bodies, WMG is continuing their pioneering approach to develop programmes and identify priority areas that will help fill the existing and emerging skills gaps as they arise.

For further details please contact:

Alice Scott, Media Manager, University of Warwick Press Office
07920 531221 /

Lisa Harding, Head of Marketing and Communications, WMG,
University of Warwick – 07976 326 520 /

Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Media Relations
Chief Communications Officer’s Group, University of Warwick:
Mobile: 07767 655860



WMG, University of Warwick

WMG is a world leading research and education group, transforming organisations and driving innovation through a unique combination of collaborative research and development, and pioneering education programmes.

As an international role model for successful partnerships between academia and the private and public sectors, WMG develops advancements nationally and globally, in applied science, technology and engineering, to deliver real impact to economic growth, society and the environment.


WMG’s education programmes focus on lifelong learning of the brightest talent, from the WMG Academies for Young Engineers, degree apprenticeships, undergraduate and postgraduate, through to professional programmes.

An academic department of the University of Warwick, and a centre for the HVM Catapult, WMG was founded by the late Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya in 1980 to help reinvigorate UK manufacturing and improve competitiveness through innovation and skills development.


Local Growth Fund

Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone.

That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.

Some additional key facts:

  • There are 38 LEPs covering the whole of England
  • The government has awarded £9.1bn in three rounds of Growth Deals to local areas to drive economic growth.
  • LEPs are investing in a wide range of projects including transport, skills, business support, broadband, innovation and flood defences.


Midlands Engine

Some Midlands Engine key facts:

  • The government is committed to making the Midlands an Engine for Growth in the UK, increasing economic growth and improving the quality of life for everyone. The Midlands is home to over 10 million people and over 780,000 businesses. Its economy is worth £217.7 billion.
  • So far the government has awarded £1.9 billion in three rounds of Growth Deals across the Midlands.

PJD 21st June 2021


Alice Scott, Media Manager, University of Warwick Press Office – 07920 531221 /

Lisa Harding, Head of Marketing and Communications, WMG, University of Warwick – 07976 326 520 /


Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Media Relations
Chief Communications Officer’s Group, University of Warwick:
Mobile: 07767 655860