The Collab Group of Colleges today announces a new partnership with The Open University (OU), designed to provide UK industry with a seamless progression route from vocational training to degree level qualifications.

Together, the Collab Group and the OU – a leading provider of flexible, technology-enabled work-based learning – will pool their resources to expand their higher education and degree apprenticeship provision, smoothing the transition between further and higher education.

The partnership, which is the first relationship of its kind between the Collab Group and a British University, hopes to benefit both levy and non-levy paying employers and their staff by collaborating in the delivery of apprenticeship training services at higher levels.

By offering a wider range of training and apprenticeships, the partnership will support employers to build skills and retrain staff in their organisation, allowing them to become more agile and able to adapt to changing business conditions, while supporting learners to access new opportunities and improve their career and employment prospects. Both partners are excited about the prospect of working together to provide a seamless talent attraction and skills development solution to address long term skills deficits in key industries:

Ian Pretty, CEO Collab Group said:

“I am delighted that the Collab Group is working in partnership with The Open University to support our colleges to offer a broader range of Higher Education provision. This is an innovative relationship that marks a milestone in the collaboration between further and higher education. Collab Group’s national college network combined with The Open University flexible and accessible courses, makes this a truly formidable partnership which will benefit both learners and employers alike.”

David Willet, Corporate Director at The Open University added:

“This new partnership with Collab group is a key part of our strategy to work more closely with the FE sector and make access to education and training more straightforward for everyone. We share the common goals of making high quality education and training opportunities available to young people and adults, and ensuring that employers thrive through the availability of highly skilled staff. As a global university with unique expertise and experience of delivering flexible education including higher and degree level apprenticeships at scale, we believe that this partnership can deliver great value to learners and employers alike, whatever their skill level.”

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