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Acorn and Cardiff Met join forces to launch unique work-based degree

Acorn and Cardiff Met join forces to launch unique work-based degree

Leading UK-wide recruitment and training company, Acorn Group, has joined forces with Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Centre for Work Based Learning to launch Wales’ first foundation degree franchise to a private work based learning provider this month.

The Foundation Degree (arts) in Applied Professional Practice aims to give participants the full university experience, while simultaneously allowing them to continue working. The focus of the course is to develop delegates’ leadership and management skills with a view to encouraging their personal development.

The degree itself will be delivered by Acorn, which has its headquarters in Wales, and accredited by Cardiff Met. It is the first time a degree of this nature has been offered by a private, work-based provider in Wales. The course is specifically designed to be flexible and allows those already working in management to tailor a schedule that suits them over two and a half academic years.

Sarah John, Acorn’s Learning & Development Commercial Director, said: “The motivation behind creating this degree was that it should be mutually beneficial to employers and employees. From a business point of view, the course offers on-the-job learning, improved staff retention rates and demonstrates commitment, by employers, to the development of their managers.

“Delegates working in all types of industries have the chance to be selective on topics, use their prior learning and experience towards module credits, improve future career and promotion prospects and demonstrate competencies through work-based learning.”

The degree ties in closely with the Welsh Government’s agenda for education, combining collaboration, work-based learning and part-time study, applicants may be entitled to funding to cover the cost of the degree.

Dr Peter Treadwell, manager and lecturer at Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Centre for Work Based Learning, said: “Good management is vital to any organisation and ensuring that staff have the right skills for the job is key. By providing higher level study employers can demonstrate to their staff the value they hold in them as well as improving business performance, loyalty and staff retention.

“By running this course the hope is that it will make a university degree more accessible, ultimately boosting the calibre of staff available in Wales.”

Rather than a dissertation, delegates can demonstrate competence with a work-based assessment which can be tied in with business objectives. The time spent away from the office is minimal with only 14 half days out of the office over the course of an academic year, with an extra full induction day in Year one.

There are also opportunities for academic progression with the chance to turn the foundation degree into a full degree by adding credits.

Established in 1992, Acorn has its headquarters in Newport and has 38 branches across the UK.

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