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Head of Apprenticeships

We are currently seeking a Head of Apprenticeships, who will be required to strategically lead the University’s Apprenticeships agenda, with the aim of securing the University’s position as a key UK HE Apprenticeship provider.

You will be expected to professionally lead, shape and develop organisational policy and practices for the apprentice programmes. You will represent the University both internally and externally, keep up to date on external legislation to inform practice and shape and implement strategy for apprenticeship growth.

This is a key role at the University, with responsibility for providing leadership for the successful development and delivery of Apprenticeships from Levels 2-7 with a particular focus on building our profile internally and externally, maintaining and developing areas of policy, practice and research. The role involves ensuring compliance with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) funding requirements, audits and Ofsted.

Principal accountabilities

  1. Engage at a national level with policy makers and key stakeholder organisations, with a view to establishing strong collaborative relationships, influencing the national apprenticeship agenda and maximising income potential for the University.
  2. Lead on engagement with industry, professional and government bodies to ensure that the University understands and meets future skills and development needs, disseminating intelligence to University Colleges as appropriate.
  3. Liaise with key university colleagues to devise and implement robust governance arrangements for the University’s apprenticeship activities.
  4. Work closely with internal stakeholders to drive the establishment of the University’s Apprenticeship Hub, ensuring that it develops and delivers a strategy for positioning the University as one of the leading HE deliverers of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships.
  5. Take direct responsibility for the operational management of the University’s Apprenticeship Hub.
  6. Take management responsibility for Apprenticeship Hub staff and budgetary responsibility for the Hub, ensuring that it consistently delivers in conjunction with the University Colleges, a stretch income target, whilst building the level of contribution to a point where the Hub operates as a financially sustainable unit within the University.
  7. Oversee the identification of opportunities for delivery of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships by all UoD Colleges.
  8. Oversee the phased roll-out of delivery of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships across all UoD Colleges.
  9. Work closely with FE colleagues to lead a co-ordinated strategy for apprenticeship development and delivery from levels 2-7
  10. Work closely with HR to co-ordinate the implementation of the University’s approach to the employment of all levels of apprentices, in response to the introduction of the apprenticeship levy.
  11. Maintain oversight of the design of new apprenticeship courses, including oversight of the University’s contribution to Standards development via different sector groups.
  12. Co-ordinate and drive the development of necessary processes and systems to support the apprenticeship programme – including but not limited to: finance; legal; admissions; academic office and quality assurance.
  13. Liaise closely with Marketing to develop a marketing strategy for the promotion of the University of Derby as a lead provider of apprenticeships.
  14. Co-ordinate the promotion of the apprenticeship programme to current and potential employer sponsors, working with the relevant professional services departments and University Colleges.
  15. Chair relevant industry Advisory Boards.
  16. Be the lead contact for liaison with the Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and the National Apprenticeship Service in relation to Higher and Degree apprenticeships, secure funding for programme development and delivery and disseminate information from funders as required.

Person specification

Essential Criteria


  • Master’s Degree, equivalent professional qualification, or evidence of equivalent experience.


  • Experience within the Apprenticeship funding/audit requirements.
  • Proven experience of performance and operational management, within a like for like role.
  • Excellent people management and leadership skills and experience of managing a team working towards the achievement of set targets and driving excellence.
  • MIS and reporting systems, leading responses to audits within ESFA funding rules.
  • Monitoring with delivery teams’ timeliness of achievement of the apprenticeship standards and ensuring overall success rates are above national benchmarks and in line with University achievement targets.
  • Budget and resource management experience.
  • Experience and detailed understanding of delivering Apprenticeships according to Ofsted requirements.
  • Experience of leading and developing a team of academics dedicated to the practice of work-based learning and professional development.
  • Experience of performance managing and monitoring against agreed targets in a supportive environment.
  • Experience of work-based learning and training.
  • Experience of helping to develop creative learning solutions that are commercially viable for business clients.
  • Successful experience of performance management, monitoring against agreed targets in a supportive environment.

Skills, knowledge & abilities

  • Well-developed interpersonal skills with the ability to engage a range of audiences internally and externally.
  • Confident in interacting with senior leaders within the organisation, and particularly with teams who have responsibility for the delivery of the Apprenticeship Standards.
  • Team leading skills that include supporting staff development and how to motivate staff internally to drive excellence in apprenticeship management.
  • An innovative and creative thinker with a proven track record which demonstrates an ability to transform ideas into practice within their teams.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Flexible and adaptable, willing to challenge the orthodoxy.
  • A proactive self-starter who ensures close attention to detail.
  • A performance driven individual who is confident and has well developed influencing skills.
  • A team player who is self-motivated and can work effectively to meet tight deadlines.
  • High levels of personal integrity and confidentiality.
  • Good analytical and critical thinking skills.
  • Ability to manage contracts and budgets and set and adhere to a Business Plan.
  • Ability to translate strategic vision into operational plans and deliver those plans on time and to budget.
  • Highly regarded people leader with a proven ability to deliver through people.
  • Knowledge of the Education Inspection Framework.
  • An understanding of and commitment to Equal Opportunity Policies, and the ability to promote this in the day to day work of the post.
  • A positive thinker and influencer with a solution focused approach.
  • A commitment to live and promote the University core values.

Business requirements

  • Flexibility in hours worked and for regular travel within the region and within the UK and occasionally overseas.
  • Ability and willingness to travel in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Desirable Criteria


  • Experience of engaging with national policy makers for Apprenticeships.
  • Knowledge of the Apprenticeship Software or similar apprenticeship management systems.
  • Experience of apprenticeship MIS reporting systems.
  • Knowledge of delivering apprenticeships in a HE setting.

Skills, knowledge and abilities

  • Use of Apprenticeship software systems and ability to extract data.


As well as competitive pay scales, we offer generous holiday entitlement. We also offer opportunities for further salary progression based on performance, and the opportunity to join a contributory pension scheme.Find out more about pay and benefitsFind out more about pay and benefits

How to apply

To apply for this post or for an informal discussion, please contact Mark Holleran at TalentEdu who has been exclusively retained for this role:


Telephone:         +44 (0) 203 290 290 7

Important information

Applications from job seekers who require sponsorship to work in the UK are welcome and will be considered alongside all other applications.

We recommend you take time to read the government guidance on individual eligibility requirements for sponsorship to check you will meet the criteria prior to applying. Skilled Worker visa: Your job – GOV.UK (

If you have any questions regarding sponsorship please contact


Our number one priority is to keep our staff, students and community safe as we continue to work through the pandemic. Upon appointment, full training will be given on the Health and Safety processes we follow.

Find out how we are ensuring the safety of our staff, students and communityFind out how we are ensuring the safety of our staff, students and community

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