Apprenticeships: A look back at 2021

December 2021

Despite the ongoing challenges we have all faced during 2021 the University of Oxford apprenticeship team has had an extremely successful year, including:

  • Taking on over 40 new apprentices, including one in our own apprenticeship team!
  • Winning 'Oxfordshire Apprentice Employer of the Year' Award
  • Winning 'Highly Commended Employer of the Year' in the Qube Awards
  • Placing in the Rate My Apprenticeship Top 100 Employer Table for the third year running
  • Getting the University of Oxford Apprenticeship Strategy signed off by the University's senior leaders
  • Taking our internal apprenticeship expo online, with a week of virtual events and over 200 attendees
  • Setting up a new cohort of apprentice ambassadors
  • Signing the Apprentice Decent Wage Pledge and continuing to pay the Oxford Living Wage
  • Transferring apprenticeship levy to 25 different organisations in the local community

You can read more about some of these highlights below.

New apprentices

Our 40 new apprentices joined across all of our divisions and they are studying a wide range of courses, from business administration to horticulture, finance to engineering. 

Why do an apprenticeship?

We asked a few of our new recruits why they chose to do an apprenticeship...

I chose this apprenticeship as I knew the extensive experience I would get from it. Being able to train and learn in an organisation of such high standards, like the University of Oxford, is an opportunity so rare. Being in this professional environment has taught me and given me skills I would have never been able to adapt in a college or six form environment. It also brings me extreme excitement for my professional career in the future with the opportunities that will arise for me, with the connections I may get and the skills I will have gained.

- Zoe Smith, Apprentice HR Administrator, University HR

The company also formed part of the reason I chose to do this apprenticeship as they have such a great reputation for training and development so I was confident that I would be getting the best support throughout my apprenticeship. 

- Toni-Ann, Apprentice Finance Assistant, Department of Engineering Science 

I chose to become an apprentice as I liked the idea of learning and putting the knowledge into an working environment while making a career change. I am enjoying the course very much and would recommend anyone who was thinking of being an apprentice with University of Oxford to apply.

- Deborah Lee, Apprentice Finance Assistant, Humanities Division

Apprenticeship team apprentice

Our apprenticeship team also recruited our very own apprentice within the team, Max Evans. Read about Max's experiences so far in his blog below.


Apprenticeship routes

Below we have listed some of the courses we have used to in our apprenticeship recruitment:

  • Business Administrator, Level 3
  • HR Support, Level 3
  • Facilities Operative, Level 2
  • Accounts or Finance Assistant, Level 2
  • Digital Marketer, Level 3
  • Laboratory Technician, Level 3
  • Horticulture and Landscape Operative, Level 2
  • Arborist, Level 2
  • Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technician, Level 3
  • Infrastructure Technician, Level 3
  • Digital Support Technician, Level 3


Apprentice Ambassadors 2021, University of Oxford


Of our new apprentices, we also gained a new cohort of apprentice ambassadors for the University. You can read more about our new ambassadors below.



Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Employer of the Year

We were so pleased to be part of this event and win this award for 2021. University Apprenticeship Manager, Helen Johnson, commented on the award:

We have been working hard to support the local community through transferring our apprenticeship levy and will continue to commit to this going forward.

On behalf of the Apprenticeship team, I would like to thank our apprentices and apprentice line managers, mentors and training providers for their hard work and engagement, winning this award is a true reflection of all of our commitment to the programme 

We look forward to continuing to grow our apprenticeship programme both for new entrant and existing staff. 

- Helen Johnson, Apprenticeships Manager

One of our apprentices also won the Oxfordshire 'Apprentice of the Year' award!


Apprenticeship Levy Transfers

Below are just some of the fantastic partnerships we have set up to transfer levy to, in order for these organisations to develop their employees on apprenticeship based training:

  • Coxwell Hall
  • Aspire
  • Oxfordshire Mind
  • Active Oxfordshire 







We would like to thank all of our apprentices and teams for continuing to support apprenticeships within the University, we look forward to continuing our work and increasing our offering in 2022!

The Apprenticeship Team

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