Case study: Paul Finch

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Swansea University’s Degree Apprenticeship in Applied Software Engineering adopts a ‘learn and earn’ approach, combining work and study. For Paul, this apprenticeship was a chance to improve his company’s IT systems and develop his digital skills.

Throughout the programme, he interacted with fellow students from a wide variety of companies all developing the same digital skill set. In his final year, Paul developed his most successful piece of software, which now forms part of his company’s financial system. The software identifies and recovers contract variances, which can occur for a number of reasons but mean that a company’s contract budget can change dramatically.

Already in partial deployment, the software has saved the company £70,000, and the Director estimates that it will save £400,000 per year once fully deployed.

Through apprenticeships like this, the Degree Apprenticeship programme proves that Higher Education doesn’t have to end when you get a job. For employers, it shows that collaboration with educators can develop and upskill their workforce, better preparing their organisations for the digital future. 

“The programme has given me a wide range of skills which are applicable on a daily basis. For each of the 12 modules, we carried out a work-based mini-project that transfers the knowledge and skills acquired from that module directly into our company. Having such a programme which does this for the broadest variety of companies is a remarkable achievement.”