Degree Apprentice puts learning into practice at new Cyber Centre

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Degree Apprentice puts learning into practice at new Cyber Centre

A University of Wolverhampton Degree Apprentice has been building his skills for the future by working on the new Cyber Quarter – Midlands Centre for Cyber Security.

Delivered by Speller Metcalfe, the new £9 million building is a joint venture between the University of Wolverhampton and Herefordshire Council, part-funded by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Peter Catherall, 22 from Hanley Castle in Worcestershire, is studying for a Chartered Quantity Surveying Degree Apprenticeship in the University’s School of Architecture and Built Environment, with Speller Metcalfe funding his studies through the Apprenticeship Levy.

Peter, an Assistant Quantity Surveyor, has been putting his learning into practice on the University’s partnership building project based on Skylon Park in Herefordshire.

After completing his GCSEs and A Levels, Peter was unsure about which career path to take and was advised to talk to Speller Metcalfe who offered him the opportunity of taking the Degree Apprenticeship route where he could work full-time as well as studying for a degree qualification.

He said: “I would wholeheartedly recommend Apprenticeships to other people. I knew I wanted to start work when I left Sixth Form but I also wanted to pursue some kind of academic pathway and didn’t really want to go straight to university.

“Studying at University is a two-way information exchange. Working on the Cyber Centre project I’ve taken things that I’ve learned at work and applied them to a University module and then had a look at that, not only from an operations level, but from a more strategic level and I’ve had the opportunity to analyse things in more depth.

“An Apprenticeship is a great thing to celebrate because essentially you’re learning and working at the same time and bringing together the best of both worlds. On this Degree Apprenticeship you also get the chance to work towards Chartership with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) which is a real added bonus.”

Peter is in the fourth year of the five-year Apprenticeship and studies one day a week at University.

Adrian Speller, Technical Director at Speller Metcalfe, said: “It’s really important for us as an employer to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week and to recognise that people coming in through vocational Apprenticeship routes can gain these qualifications and be really valuable to us as employers.”

This year, the 14th annual National Apprenticeship Week (#NAW2021) is running from Monday 8th February through to Sunday 14th February 2021 with the theme ‘BUILD THE FUTURE’ and the University of Wolverhampton is celebrating and showcasing the impact Apprenticeships have on communities, local businesses and regional economies.

Recently, the University celebrated four years of providing Degree Apprenticeships, helping to plug skills gaps in key industry sectors across the region and further afield, with many trainees and apprentices from Speller Metcalfe currently undertaking qualifications.

The University opened its Apprenticeship Hub four years ago and, since then, has welcomed over 900 Degree Apprentices onto programmes, growing its work based learning of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships with growth at more than 250% since opening.

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