The University of Huddersfield’s apprentice provision has been awarded an ‘outstanding’ rating by Ofsted following a recent inspection.

Huddersfield is only the second university to be awarded Ofsted’s outstanding rating for its apprenticeship provision in the last four years.

It is also the only university in the Yorkshire and Humber region or the north-west of England to have both an outstanding Ofsted rating for apprenticeships and to be a TEF Gold-rated university.

It was adjudged to be outstanding in all five categories:

• quality of education

• behaviour and attitudes

• personal development

• leadership and management

• apprenticeships.

The apprentice provision, which was established in 2018, was praised by Ofsted for the positive experiences of the apprentices, the research-informed knowledge of teaching staff, and for the strong relationships between the university’s leaders and employers.

The university currently delivers apprenticeships to over 600 learners across the Yorkshire and Humber region, mostly in healthcare but with an increasing number in business. 

University vice-chancellor Prof Bob Cryan said: “We are absolutely delighted with the outstanding rating awarded by Ofsted, which found our apprentice provision to be outstanding across every area that was inspected.

“Our apprentices are thriving on their programmes due to the strong quality of education across all our apprenticeship provision.

“They benefit from a well-rounded curriculum providing all-round experience, and we have redesigned the Global Professional Award as a professional development module specifically for apprentices.

“Ofsted was impressed by how our apprenticeships have been embedded throughout the university. We were commended for how our apprenticeships support the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan.

“Our strong culture of safeguarding was highly praised as were our efforts to ensure our apprentices have the correct work-life-study balance.”

Among their comments, Ofsted found that “apprentices thrive on their programmes due to the consistently strong quality of education throughout the provision” and that “a comprehensive well-being service supports apprentices with a range of personal concerns, underpinned by a strong culture of safeguarding.”

The university’s teaching staff were commended for “keeping their subject knowledge up to date, integrating their own research at the leading edge of their sector into their practice.” 

The university’s leadership was found to “value the role that their apprenticeship programmes play in providing opportunities for people from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds to access higher education opportunities and in retaining talent in the local region.”

The University of Huddersfield offers the following apprenticeships: Advanced Clinical Practitioner, Nursing Associate, Midwife, Occupational Therapist, Operating Department Practitioner, Paramedic, Physiotherapist, Podiatrist, Registered Nurse, Professional Manager and Senior Leader.