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UK’s First ‘Academic Partnership’ Announced

Posted on 06 March 2019

To mark National Apprenticeship Week 2019 (4 – 8 March), an international engineering association announced it is forming the first ever academic partnership agreement with a further education college in the UK.

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) attended the Hunslet Campus of Leeds College of Building yesterday (Tuesday 5 March) to launch the partnership, an agreement usually reserved for higher education institutions designed to advance the capabilities of the next generation of engineers.

Until now, ICE academic partnerships have allowed undergraduate and postgraduate students, both on-campus and globally, to complete part of their professional engineering training while studying at university.

Now, students at a further-education level will be able to access the same pathway to attaining a professional qualification and have the opportunity for broader connections with employers.

Vicky Patterson, Curriculum Manager for Technical and Professional Apprenticeships at Leeds College of Building, said:

“Since being named as BTEC Apprenticeship Provider of the Year in 2018, Leeds College of Building has solidified its position as a leader in the sector. Now, getting chosen by ICE for the first ever UK college academic partnership agreement, we are in a better position than ever to go above and beyond our normal duties to enhance the Apprentice’s experiences and ensure that we produce the most creative and brilliant young Technicians and Engineers of the future.”

Principal of LCB, Derek Whitehead and Director Membership of ICE, Sean Harris

Principal of LCB, Derek Whitehead and Director Membership of ICE, Sean Harris

The Director of Membership for ICE, Sean Harris, spoke so highly about the College and the work we are doing to support employers, the industry and future civil engineers. Receiving this outstanding accolade is evidence of the hard work and dedication of staff within the Technician and Professional Apprenticeship Team.

Derek Whitehead, Principal

During the launch event, five ICE ‘QUEST Technician Scholarships’ were awarded to top Apprentices at Leeds College of Building (Ruth Watson, William Rose, Tim O’Connor, Joshua Clarke, and Chris Meredith) and one to a student from Leeds Beckett University (Amy Farrell).

These highly sought-after and well-respected Quest Scholarships are considered in industry to be a benchmark of excellence and are only awarded to candidates who display exceptional abilities and potential. 

Gillian Elvy, Membership Manager ICE North, said:

“This exciting new agreement opens up opportunities for students to engage directly with industry. QUEST Scholarships are a sign of true excellence. Winners need to be both good leaders and team players; with ambition, determination and the ability to act and think independently. The 2019 scholars are all very talented and deserving winners. Their enthusiasm, determination and dedication clearly impressed the panel of judges. There’s no doubt they all have promising careers ahead of them.”

Scholarship winners presented with their certificates

Scholarship winners presented with their certificates

To find out more about Apprenticeship opportunities, visit the Apprenticeship Open Event on Thursday 7 March, 5-7pm, at our North Street Campus.