The first cohort of apprentices, with guest speaker Stefan Stern (right) and Programme Director Dr Graham Perkins (second from right)

New Degree Apprentice programme for HR professionals puts people centre stage

A new degree apprenticeship programme for managers working in HR has been launched by the University of Exeter Business School.

The Senior People Professional Degree Apprenticeship is a two-year programme designed for senior leaders in HR who are looking to drive improvements, put people at the heart of their organisations and create working environments in which employees are able to thrive.

Over two years, apprentices will explore the latest research evidence and experience of people management in practice, gaining a firm grounding within the Human Resources Management subject area, which encompasses all facets of the employee lifecycle – from recruitment to discharge.

Encouraging critical thinking through a combination of problem-based and enquiry-led learning, apprentices will be able to apply their new knowledge, skills and behaviours to a variety of workplace situations.

Topics covered include resourcing and talent management, human resource development, employment law, employee relations, performance management, reward management, HRM strategy, research skills and project management and HR analytics.

Speaking last month at the launch event and induction for the first cohort of apprentices, Professor Alexandra Gerbasi, Acting Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Exeter Business School, said: “HR is the backbone through which you get things done in an organisation, so this is an exciting programme that I’ve wanted us to do for a long time. I’m very happy to say we’ve got there.”

The programme is designed to follow the latest professional standards as described by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

It is suitable for a range of HRM professionals, including Human Resource Directors/Managers, People Directors, Chief People Officers, Heads of HR, Human Resource Officers/Advisors, Talent Acquisition Managers, Employee Relations Managers and Learning and Development Managers/Advisors/Directors.

Alongside studying for their level 7 apprenticeship, successful apprentices will also be awarded the University of Exeter MSc Applied Human Resource Management and be eligible to apply for Chartered Member status with the CIPD.

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD, delivered an inspiring speech at the launch event that outlined the challenges and opportunities facing the HR industry in the coming years.

“The world of work is changing through many different forces, and so many things we might have taken for granted 10 years ago really have shifted,” he said.

“The pandemic particularly is really acting like a catalyst and accelerant for change in the world of work, and so many HR leaders have said from the beginning of the pandemic that it has forced organisations to put people front and centre of their business agenda.

“An apprentice programme like this is a wonderful thing to be part of, it allows you earn as you learn and it’s so good to see apprenticeship programmes now at degree level.”

Following the success of the launch, a second cohort of apprentices will start the programme next April. Find out more and apply here.

Date: 7 December 2021

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