Case study

Mind the gap - London South Bank University

04 May 2016

London South Bank University has nearly 1,000 employers sponsoring over 6,500 students. In addition, a number of employers are now considering moving from employer-sponsored study to the new higher and degree apprenticeship scheme which is part funded by government.

Transport for London, for example, is using this route to address the current industry shortage in surveyors by sponsoring staff to become quantity surveyors, with six staff currently at LSBU. Studying for a day a week students get all of their costs met, and are paid for their time. This route does take longer than traditional degrees but has the advantage that students are able to apply their knowledge as they go.

All TfL students rotate through a number of placements, lasting six months or a year. They are assigned a placement manager, responsible for monitoring on a day-to-day basis and are paired with a more senior student. Finally, they have a sponsor whose role is mainly pastoral – helping with university applications, personal statements and personal issues.

"The relationship with LSBU was really born out of practical considerations – put simply, we needed a university that could provide the right course for our needs. But it’s evolved over time. LSBU has a strong track record in the built environment and engineering, and more generally in vocational education and that’s something that really resonates with us. It’s about equipping people to do a job. But that's not to say the practical stuff doesn't matter."
-Andrew Crawley, Commercial Manager TfL

Read Pam Tatlow's blog: Working with business - boosting success