Lincoln Cathedral has hosted the formal graduation of Bishop Grosseteste University's (BGU) first cohort of apprentices. 14 students completed the three-year Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship (SLMDA), which includes a Masters' qualification, equipping them with strategic leadership skills to use in their respective organisations.
According to the University, the programme aims to bridge the skills gap in Lincolnshire, enhance staff retention, and improve productivity and profitability for local businesses. The SLMDA attracted students from diverse industries, from commercial signage to geoscience consultancy and the NHS. Graduates of the SLMDA can apply for professional recognition with Chartered Manager or Chartered Fellow Member grade.
Among the graduates are three of BGU’s own members of staff. Faculty Business Manager Nicola Thompson, Placement Services Manager Vicki Walker, and Reprographics Manager Alan Stacey all attended the celebrations to receive their certificates.
Nicola said: “The apprenticeship has been an empowering experience, giving me the opportunity to develop my skills and grow as a senior leader alongside an amazing cohort of people.
“It's been hard work to get here, but it's all been worth it, as graduating fills me with excitement and confidence to move forward in my career at BGU and beyond.”
Alongside their work in various industries, the in-person teaching and learning sessions offered networking opportunities and facilitated knowledge exchange across businesses. After witnessing the value of apprenticeships in the workplace, one graduate was inspired to hire additional apprentices at his own organisation.
BGU’s Programme Leader for Business & Enterprise Becky Goodman said: “I was extremely proud to witness our first cohort of degree apprentices graduate at this years’ ceremony. This is the culmination of several years’ work, and is a testament to our apprentices, BGU delivery teams, professional support teams, and to the apprentices’ supportive employers and mentors.
“I am passionate about helping individuals benefit from work-based learning to progress in their careers and am delighted that we have been able to develop such a fantastic offer at BGU that benefits individuals, organisations and the wider economy.”
Bishop Grosseteste University offers three apprenticeship programmes: Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, Careers Development Professional Apprenticeship, and the Senior Leader Apprenticeship. With a current enrolment of 64 active students, the Senior Leader Apprenticeship is attracting growing interest. By providing career-focused education, the university says it strives to empower professionals and strengthen Lincolnshire's workforce.