Skills for economic and inclusive growth
UWE Bristol is a large, diverse university with over 3,500 staff and 27,000 students, contributing over £400m to the West of England economy – equivalent to 1.3% of the region’s economic output. Every year more than 50% of the University’s graduates remain in the region to work.

Strong foundations in the regional economy have been central to UWE Bristol’s success. It is an engaged university, locally embedded and with global reach, working with communities and business to help shape and drive future prosperity across all parts of the region and beyond.

UWE Bristol has a passion for transforming futures and is committed to creating an inclusive workforce for the future, with opportunities for all.

95% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduating, a testament to our focus on education for the real world.

With one of the largest paid internship programmes in the UK, UWE Bristol arranges over 9,200 industry placements annually. And its student-led Business Advice Clinics enables Law and Business students to provide free legal and business advisory services to businesses and organisations in the community. Alongside this, the University’s unique BA Team Entrepreneurship degree follows a ‘learn by doing’ methodology where students take control of their learning and are supported by team coaches to set up their own company in a state-of-the-art hub within Bristol Business School.

Through an ambitious strategic programme the University has systematically embedded enterprise skills and learning in over 300 undergraduate programmes – from Aerospace and Animation, to Law, Nursing and Wildlife Ecology. Annually, 9,000 UWE students graduate with the ability to think creatively; identify opportunities; adapt to a changing world and make things happen!

This embedding of enterprise was recognised by assessors in contributing to the UWE Bristol’s award of TEF Gold – the Government’s award for universities that demonstrate the highest-quality teaching standards and are consistently outstanding.


Lifelong learning for all
UWE Bristol is a supportive and inspiring place to learn and work – where diversity of experience and perspective is encouraged, and where learning and research are accessible to as many people as possible.

The University works hard to create opportunities for everyone to benefit from its programmes, professional development, lifelong-learning and collaborative working, regardless of background. It works closely with schools and Further Education colleges to build pathways to opportunity and achievement for communities across the whole region including areas of deprivation and low levels of participation in higher education.

Professional development – supporting a highly skilled workforce
UWE Bristol is the largest quality professional development and training provider with the broadest course offering in the region. Its courses are designed for the real world, with tangible business benefits in mind from day one, and underpinned by academic excellence and the latest research.

Through its long-standing experience of supporting businesses in the region, it has become a key provider of higher and degree apprenticeships in the South West (1500+ learners and over 25 courses delivered for 200+ organisations).

Higher and degree apprenticeships combine on-the-job training with study for a higher-level qualification, giving organisations the highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce their business needs.

Apprenticeships have come back from the wilderness as employers and students appreciate their huge ability to gain practical qualifications that meet real skills needs, with students earning while they learn and contributing to increased productivity, so vital to our future economic success.

Apprentice students are a very committed cohort who are super-fuelled to succeed. Their academic and workplace learning act as a virtuous circle – in real time, they can apply their work experience to the classroom and their classroom experience to work. Crucially, apprenticeships now go all the way from GCSE equivalent up to degree or even master’s level in high skills areas, meaning apprenticeship pathways no longer stop short or limit opportunity to progress to the highest level in their field.”

Essential training and skills for frontline NHS staff
UWE Bristol works closely with Bristol’s NHS Trusts, partners and providers to train, develop and provide the skilled and committed professional workforce needed to deliver health and wellbeing now and in response to future needs.

The University has over 3,000 health and social care students and annually graduates approximately 1,500 practitioners into the local and regional health and social care system. Its integrated working with NHS partners and state of the art simulation learning facilities create the right environment for the local and regional health and social care workforce pipeline.

In April 2020, UWE Bristol joined the national effort to host to an NHS Nightingale Hospital on its Frenchay campus to the North of the City. From the outset, the University decided one of the most important aspects of this project was ensuring it was a partner in this endeavour and not just a geographical location. As such, UWE Bristol provided a bespoke 2-day training programme for over 350 volunteers to be able to work safely in the Nightingale, and UWE Bristol Academic and Technical Teams trained clinical leads and staff in the Nightingale protocols. The University provided 1000’s of litres of disinfectant and hand gel to the site, GP, practices, pharmacies and to local businesses such as Rolls Royce and Airbus, to keep the economy moving, and made face visors in the Bristol Robotics Laboratory.

Having a campus that is equipped to deliver staff training on the required scale for the Bristol Nightingale site is testament to the investment by the University in clinical skills and simulation training for its health and social care students, and a huge source of pride for both staff and students.

Skills that support the creative and cultural fabric of the City
UWE Bristol’s City Campus is hardwired into the creative and cultural fabric of the city-region with shared space, including the Arnolfini and Watershed arts centres, and co-designed and co-delivered courses with the BBC’s Natural History Unit.

Driving to improve the performance of the Creative Industries in the region, the University has led on the £6.5m South West Creative Technology Network, offering funded programmes to SMEs and creative entrepreneurs on immersion, automation and data. Through a mix of development labs, fellowship schemes and large project funding, this programme will build on existing thematic strengths in the region including XR (immersive experiences), live performance and 5G.

The model puts inclusion and new talent at its heart to identify and support the thought leaders of tomorrow. Every programme will include new talent fellows, supported to think about innovation in a digital first way. In turn, New Talent Fellows co-produce skills workshops for the next generation, creating a radically inclusive leadership model.

UWE Bristol also hosts Creative Workforce for the Future, a £600,000 programme funded by the West of England LEP, that offers a flexible and bespoke programme of professional development for companies and paid placements for young people, aiming to make the Creative Industries as representative as the society in which we live.

Developing the skills of tomorrow
Boosting the pipeline of high-level digital skills is vital to sustaining the growth of the West of England’s established innovation cluster, in particular the mix of Science, Technology, Arts, Engineering and Maths skills (STEAM).

UWE Bristol’s transformational Digital Skills Workforce for the Future, a £400,000 programme (part of an £8 million skills programme for the region led by the West of England Combined Authority) which is engaging with SMEs to enhance and improve digital skills provision across the region. It will provide participating SMEs across all industry sectors with a deeper understanding of their digital skills needs and solutions for addressing them. The programme will establish a Digital Workforce for the Future SME Industry Network – offering SMEs a support network and an ability to share best practice.

UWE Bristol is an anchor partner in the West of England Institute of Technology, which delivers higher-level technical education for the digital, engineering and health sectors. By working together with further education providers and employers, it is opening up opportunities to a diverse range of learners and equipping businesses for the future.

Across the partnership the University offers a range of options that provide clear routes to highly skilled careers, for those continuing from further education or looking to upskill or reskill. With backing by employers and investment in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, learners can be confident they are developing the skills needed tomorrow.

Institutes of Technology are a new type of institution funded by the government, bringing together employers and education providers to meet this demand. The world of work is changing fast, driven by new and disruptive technologies. As job roles change and new ones are created, higher technical skills are increasingly in demand.

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