13 Nov 2017

The OU spreads its wings and takes its apprenticeship expertise to the US

Exporting OU expertise

Exporting OU expertise

The Open University gets behind innovative transatlantic skills partnership to enhance UK-US apprenticeship cooperation and trade.

The Open University (OU) has partnered with the Transatlantic Apprenticeship Exchange Forum (TAEF) to support the United States in its drive to expand modern and non-traditional apprenticeships.

The President of the United States has recently committed the nation to a ‘moon-shot goal’ of creating an additional 5 million apprenticeship starts.

To achieve such an ambitious target requires a massive scaling up of the American apprenticeship model, something the OU has first-hand experience of in the UK.

Marking the start of US National Apprenticeship Week, 13-19 November, the OU and TAEF have announced an alliance that will see both organisations work with a range of US partners, states and workforce bodies, as well as apprenticeship providers in the UK.

Commenting on the partnership, David Willett, corporate director at The Open University, said: “It’s a very exciting time for apprenticeships in the USA and we’re delighted to be able to bring our knowledge and expertise to the table and help America reach its ambitious targets. The Open University has a lot of experience in helping countries scale up their learning provision and TAEF provides a fantastic opportunity to link up employers, educators, workforce bodies and communities on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Tom Bewick, President of the Transatlantic Apprenticeship Exchange Forum, said: “I’m delighted that The Open University has got behind this important transatlantic skills initiative. The UK has a huge amount of expertise in the apprenticeship space having massively scaled up its own apprenticeship system in the past decade and, with nearly 180,000 students, the OU has the experience and expertise of delivering learning at scale.

“The OU has a powerful brand and international reach to work with employers, states and workforce bodies across the United States. TAEF uniquely provides the means for UK apprenticeship providers and colleges to hook up with US counterparts through trade missions, study tours and special events.”

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