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News release

Grant Thornton welcomes first degree apprentices to MK:U

New-model university opens doors to first-ever cohort of Level 6 degree apprenticeships

Leading business and financial adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP is celebrating the official start of the first ever apprenticeship degree course at MK:U, the new higher education institution in Milton Keynes. Backed by Cranfield University and Milton Keynes Council, MK:U will address the urgent technological skills gaps that exist in the UK economy.

The first cohort of Level 6 degree apprentices are from Santander, studying for a Chartered Management Apprenticeship incorporating digital world and professional skills modules. The course is one of four courses that are designed and delivered in partnership with Grant Thornton. The courses are the result of extensive engagement with businesses, large and small, with some 114 employers in the business supporters group seeking to help address the critical skills gaps in their industries.

Upcoming cohorts from a wide range of employers begin in January and May 2022 studying for one of the four Level 6 BSc degree apprenticeships which are: Chartered Manager, Data Scientist, Cyber Security, Digital and Technology Solutions.

Learners will be offered exceptional flexibility to attend in person at the state-of-the-art facility in Milton Keynes; to join online for some or all modules; and use the technology enabled facilitation rooms, supported throughout by learning specialists, expert professional insight from industry and an innovative learning technology enabled delivery model.

Justin Rix, Partner and Head of People Advisory at Grant Thornton UK LLP, commented:

“It’s fantastic to see MK:U open its doors for the first time. The facility is testament to the hard work that has been invested by a number of partners to provide a learning environment that simulates the hybrid-working environment and culture of the modern workplace. Whether people are in the building, or joining remotely, the learning experience is consistently high-quality, providing greater flexibility than traditional university models.

“The employers accessing these programmes, such as Santander and BAE systems recognise that degree apprenticeships offer comprehensive development to those building careers in full-time role. The course focus on digital, technology and management practices will help to address skills gaps in a wide range of sectors and support sustainable growth through access to talent.”

Professor Lynette Ryals OBE, Chief Executive of MK:U, said:

“We are delighted to welcome our first apprentices. MK:U offers innovative, exciting, business-relevant education. We believe our approach to learning, based on real business and societal issues, is the future for higher education.”

For more information, please visit MK:U apprenticeships.