Friday 24 November 2023 marked a historic moment: the first cohort of professional economist apprentices graduated from the University of Kent. The ceremony took place at Canterbury Cathedral.
This group of apprentices had an outstanding success rate, with a 100% completion rate and over 95% achieving a 2:1 or first-class degree.
The level 6 professional economist apprenticeship, spanning four years, mirrors the University of Kent’s standard BSc in Economics but includes continuous on-the-job learning. The programme received high praise from an external examiner, highlighting the effective partnership between the university and employers, which creates a motivating environment for students.
The graduates, who now have both theoretical and practical experience, are entering the job market. Graduates now work with employers like the civil service, the Bank of England, Arup, Jacobs, Ofcom, Northamptonshire County Council, and the CAA.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work on once in a lifetime, high profile issues and I have actively been able to apply my learning from university into the workplace.”
Throughout their journey, the apprentices received dedicated support from the University’s expert academics and apprenticeship advisors.
Professor Alastair Bailey, the programme developer, commended the graduates. He said, “As these graduates’step into the professional world, they bring with them not just their academic achievements but also a significant resilience acquired through overcoming various challenges. Their ability to navigate adversity while pursuing their studies equips them with a unique set of skills that will undoubtedly serve them well in their future careers.”
Mobena Khatun, who is now an assistant economist with HM Treasury, highlighted the benefits of the degree apprenticeship route: “I was keen to go down the degree apprenticeship route after completing college as I wanted to study economics and work on real-world economic issues. Four years later and I couldn’t be more glad with my decision!
“I’ve had the opportunity to work on once in a lifetime, high profile issues and I have actively been able to apply my learning from university into the workplace. Now that I have completed the degree apprenticeship, I am proud to say I have a degree in economics and years of invaluable experience as an economist to my name.”
The level 6 professional economist apprenticeship continues to be delivered by the University of Kent to apprentices from various UK employers. The University of Kent is currently the sole supplier of this apprenticeship to the government economics service. The next cohort is set to commence in September 2024.