Empowering Enterprises in Stoke-on-Trent: Groundwork’s Sustainable Ventures

by Groundwork West Midlands

In an era where environmental consciousness and business success go hand in hand, Groundwork West Midlands ‘Sustainable Ventures’ project provides free support to businesses and community organisations who are stepping up to the sustainability challenge. Embracing eco-friendly practices not only mitigates their carbon footprint, but also reduces running costs and enhances competitiveness and resilience.

Groundwork’s Sustainable Ventures project aims to inform organisations on the most viable solutions available to them. Delving into the realm of ‘Sustainable Ventures’, we can see how energy audits, training, and actionable decarbonisation plans empower organisations to take positive steps towards a greener future.

Energy Audits: Illuminating the Path to Efficiency

Energy audits serve as the cornerstone of the Sustainable Ventures project. Audits involve assessing a business’s energy consumption patterns by identifying areas of wastage and inefficiency. By pinpointing energy-saving opportunities, organisations can achieve substantial cost reductions and reduce their carbon footprint simultaneously.

Every business has a unique set of energy demands and usage patterns. Conducting an ‘on-site’ energy audit tailors the energy-saving strategies to the specific needs of each organisation, making them more effective, relevant and achievable.

Energy reports provide a range of improvements that organisations can make. From simple, zero cost changes, to large-scale retrofit projects, all prioritised and costed to ensure that organisations have clear guidance to fold into their overall business strategy, to improve sustainability, reduce bills and lower carbon emissions.

Audits – a starting point for energy reduction and cost savings

Unlocking the Benefits

Beyond the environmental gains, organisations can reap financial rewards through reduced operating costs and improved resource management.

Decarbonisation plans form strategic roadmaps that guide organisations towards long-term sustainability. Plans outline a series of steps to reduce carbon emissions over time, which includes adopting renewable energy sources, transitioning to low-carbon technologies, and optimising supply chain operations. By committing to decarbonisation, enterprises position themselves as ESG responsible, attracting environmentally conscious customers and investors.

Groundwork, supported by Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, will be hosting conferences every quarter to share success stories, provide training, and facilitate networking opportunities for organisations wishing to embrace more efficient ways of operating. This collaboration will foster knowledge exchange and will enable organisations to navigate the complexities of sustainable business practices more effectively.


The path to sustainable success for small and medium sized businesses is paved with energy audits, sustainability training, and decarbonisation plans. By identifying inefficiencies, fostering awareness, and committing to long-term emissions reduction, organisations can drive positive change while reaping numerous benefits.

As these ‘sustainable ventures’ become more mainstream, SMEs will lead by example, showing that businesses can thrive whilst being environmentally responsible. The time for action is now, and SMEs and Charities are well-positioned to shape a greener and more prosperous future for all.

How to Engage in the Project?


Delivered by Groundwork West Midlands

Partnered with Stoke-on-Trent Council

Funded by the UK Government (UK Shared Prosperity Fund/Levelling up)

Hanley Park: an oasis next to the Staffordshire University campus

by Walter Vundla (recent international student)

Hanley Park is one of Stoke-on-Trent’s heritage parks, it is close to the university and you can walk through it to the city centre. The park underwent a multi-million-pound restoration after a successful bid for £4.5 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund in 2015 (visitstoke.co.uk, 2023). The restored facilities include public art sculptures, lake and fountains, boathouse, pavilion and floodlit sports zone for football tennis, basketball, and hockey.

Lots of all weather pitches in the Park for football, tennis, basketball, and cricket

The park is found in Shelton, Cleveland Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 4DX. It is within a 10 minute walking distance from the Stoke-on-Trent train station. It is a 5-minute walk from the university campus on College and Leek Road. There are two car parks near the park for the public’s convenience, named Hanley Park Northern Car Park, The Parkway and Hanley Park Southern Car Park, Ridgway Road. Then there is Cannon PI car park which is about 13 minutes’ walk to the park.

Sports Zone

Hanley Park sports zone include artificial football pitch, four tennis courts, basket court and cricket wickets with nets. On every Saturday at 9am, Vitality parkrun holds a 5km run where anyone can register and take part.

Every Sunday morning, there is a group of people that meet up and play football. They play from 9am till around 12pm. Anyone is welcome to join as the group is very welcoming.

Community Hub

The community hub is open Monday to Thursday from 0830am to 1500pm. However, open day vary due to the weather. The community hub supplies activities for both children and adults.

Community hub

Hanley Vitality Parkrun

It is a friendly, free and fun 5km community event that participants can walk, jog, run or volunteer to help to ensure that the event is a success every week. It is free to join in, however, one will have to register before attending the event. Once registered with parkrun, a scannable barcode will be issued so that you can get results after the run. You can run without the barcode, but you will not be able to get your finish time sent over to your email.

The entire event is organised by volunteers. If one wants to volunteer at one of the events, they can email: hanley@parkrun.com to help. All help is acceptable as there are marshals to guide and encourage everyone that takes part. All the volunteers are friendly and welcoming to everyone. The participants are also friendly and encouraging as well. It is easy to network and make friends as everyone is friendly and willing to have a conversation.

Park Run in Hanley

Parkrun social media platforms

Facebook Parkrun UK – Twitter Parkrun UK Instagram Parkrun Youtube Parkrun

Art in the Park

Entrance to the park at the top of Boughey Road

A canal runs through Hanley Park and you can walk or cycle out of the city on it

There’s three play areas for different age children in the Park
Lots of play space

Rope pyramid and zip line also available

Facebook group for the Park

A successful digital marketing placement at Middleport Pottery

by Tselmeg Bat-Erdene (international student on the MSc in Digital Marketing Management)

One of the great opportunities Staffordshire University offers is an encouragement to develop practical skills. I, a postgraduate student of the MSc Digital Marketing Management, had the opportunity to test my skills at a workplace during my 4 month work placement module. With the help of our course lecturers, I had the chance to complete my work placement at Middleport Pottery, an industrial heritage site and one of the hidden gems in Stoke-on-Trent.

Main entrance to the site

Stoke-on-Trent is known to be an industrial area focusing on Pottery. Middleport Pottery, a Grade II* listed heritage site, stands out from any other visitor site as it is the UK’s last working Victorian pot bank, which is still operating in the original building of 130 years. Middleport Pottery is managed by Re-Form Heritage, an independent charity that specializes in the restoration and rejuvenation of heritage buildings at risk.

Working at Middleport Pottery has given me a chance to challenge various skill sets, such as beginner’s web development, data analysis, basic photography, and social media skills etc. In the first few weeks of starting my placement, I researched what our competitors are working on and how we can match up their levels of digital exposure. The Middleport Pottery website hasn’t been updated after the COVID-19 pandemic, therefore I have added new information, along with improving the SEO of each page and restructuring the layout of the website to be more user-friendly. Also, I have created and updated the former interactive map, which lacked information on the newly added part of the heritage tour, the Regeneration of Harper Street.

Several creative businesses are on the site

Middleport Pottery is not only a visitor attraction but also offers many services like venue hire, different activities and events happening every other weekend. It has allowed me to try different methods of promoting Middleport Pottery on social media. You can keep up with our events here or sign up to our newsletter here

Tselmeg is far right with the other volunteers and workers

Middleport Pottery has been and is a welcoming environment full of great colleagues, volunteers, and visitors. My work placement has been a great experience – working on new challenges every week with Middleport Pottery has allowed me to put into practice what I have learnt on the course. The warm welcome from the team has been a good motivation to achieve more during my placement.

It is my pleasure to give a big shout-out to Middleport Pottery, full of a unique experience for anyone to visit, enjoy the history and culture of Stoke-on-Trent, and enjoy a famous oatcake by the canal side.

Tselmeg Bat-Erdene

InstagramFacebookTwitter – for Middleport Pottery

International student Walter Vundla provides hints and tips for new students

by Walter Vundla (recent International student)

Having been born in Zimbabwe and moving to South Africa at an early age with my family to seek a better life, we faced a lot of adversity. Having to adapt to diverse cultures and getting used to different school syllabuses was a challenge. I was in grade 6 which is equivalent to Year 6. The teaching systems were completely different, languages were different (only one was similar which is Ndebele and Zulu) as South Africa has 11 official languages. I had to learn at least the basics of other languages to be able to communicate with other people which was a lesson I was determined to learn.  

Walter on graduation day

We then moved to the UK (United Kingdom) on a family reunion visa in 2014 August. It was around 1pm when we landed at Birmingham Airport and we were welcomed by cold rainy weather which I was not used to. We were then told that this was the summer!

It took some time to get used to the weather and to be honest, at times I still feel like I have not yet adapted to the weather yet. I only had about two weeks to enrol at college and one week to get ready to start a new academic journey in the UK. It was overwhelming. However, the four academic years I spent at college went by fast and soon I found myself applying for university. The first tip I would give to international student is to come prepared for the wet weather, especially towards the end of September to January.  

I knew I wanted to go to Staffordshire University and made sure that it was my first preference. I studied Business Management from 2018 to 2022 where I obtained a 2:1 (Upper second class) and was the first grandchild to graduate in my family. I received a lot of help throughout the academic years especially my last year with my dissertation. University resources and lectures were always available when I needed to use them or needed help. The second tip for the student is, make sure that you attend the sessions in the first few weeks of the academic year as the layout and introduction of the courses will be given out. These will also help you to meet the lecturers and get to know them as it will make it easier to ask for help.

The third tip is, attend all the Welcome Week activities, if possible. It is a chance to network with other students and make friends with people from different courses and backgrounds. Having diverse friendships can provide a deeper level of support to help with any challenges that one may face.  

In 2016 I joined Stafford Town FC where I spent at least five years playing as a semi professional football player. While at Stafford Town FC I was named the vice-captain of the team and later became captain. I was voted the management player of the year, we won a league cup and got promoted to the league above. I then stopped playing football to focus on my last year of university as I looking to obtain good grades. The fourth tip is, join student union as there are activities that one can partake in throughout the academic year.  

Walter played as semi pro whilst here

The fifth and final tip I would give is, make sure that all assignments are submitted on time and not left to the last minute. This will give you enough time to ask the lecturers to scan through the assignments and give you some feedback to point you to the right direction.

You might also be interested in these blogs

Advice from a Lecturer who was once an international student

Useful websites and social media for Stoke and Staffordshire

Find out more about our courses here

In-depth advice for International student think of studying at Staffordshire University


Useful websites and social media in Stoke on Trent & Staffordshire

by Jon Fairburn and Laura Allen

For new students coming to Staffordshire University (and more generally for those moving to the area for work) here is a guide to the most useful online sources

Clearing is open https://www.staffs.ac.uk/clearing or phone 0800 590 830 if you are still looking for a course


Visit Stoke and Enjoy Staffordshire for attractions and events in the area, escape to the great outdoors in the Peak District – a shout out to the website for East Staffordshire tourism which is excellent

For Business students https://www.investstoke.co.uk/ provides information on all the big projects being developed in the city. The student jobs recruitment agency on campus is Unitemps or if you need help with your CV then try our Careers service. A good news site especially for business news is the Daily Focus

For up to date news on jobs, events and funding opportunities in the area (especially useful for the creative students but also any student looking for opportunities)

The best food blog in the area is Moorlands Eater

We even have courses where you can work at Alton Towers as part of your course!

Entertainment and venue websites

Facebook pages and groups

Walk the Moorlands – for outdoor exercise and Stoke Music scene – for live music

There’s lots of What’s on pages and groups but this is probably the best one and it also covers Cheshire

Staffordshire Business School keep up to date with our latest news. Hanley Park is right next to the campus and has lots of facilities (all weather courts, basket ball, playgrounds) and events on (5K park run and others)

Lots of part-time/temp jobs suitable for students get posted on this page


To get up to speed with the latest events and great recommendations of what there is to do in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, check out:

We Love Stoke – run by Steven and Kim who moved to Stoke-on-Trent and loved it! They share their adventures in experiencing what the city has to offer.

Stoke-on-Trent Bid highlights festivals, events and activities to get involved in, with a regular what’s on line up.

Enjoy Staffordshire shares exactly that – how to enjoy Staffordshire. Sometimes you’ll also find exclusive discounts.

Visit Stoke provides you with great days out for all ages.

Eat Stoke – if food and drink is your thing, you need to give this account a follow to support the very best of Stoke-on-Trent’s food and drink culture.


These Staffordshire-bred accounts are really on their game on TikTok, follow them to see what you could get up to in Staffordshire.

Staffordshire County Council

Peak Wildlife Park

Staffordshire University

Linkedin and Twitter

Staffordshire Business School Linked page and we are on twitter here @BusinessStaffs


#staffordshirehour twitter hour Weds 8-9pm

Clearing 2023 at Staffordshire Business School

Call us on 0800 590 830

Get an instant decision online at www.staffs.ac.uk/clearing 

At Staffordshire University, we’re driving forward the Next Generation of Education, giving students the opportunity to embrace the future and thrive in a rapidly evolving world. Our commitment to excellence and innovation prepares you for the industries of tomorrow, equipping you with next generation education, environments, experience, and engagement opportunities to succeed in the modern workplace.  

0800 590 830

With a wide selection of modules, our courses allow you to shape your education according to your interests and career aspirations. Our state-of-the-art facilities and digital technologies provide hands-on learning experiences that mirror real-world work environments. With us, you’ll gain practical skills and valuable insights that will give you an edge in the competitive job market. 

We’re committed to affordability, with our cost-of-living initiatives we ensure that studying at Staffordshire University is accessible and provides long-term benefits. We invest in your success by offering a range of support that keep you motivated and empowered throughout your educational journey. 

Next generation education

At Staffordshire University, we foster a sense of belonging within our vibrant and inclusive community. Our three campuses – Stoke, Stafford and London offer a diverse range of cultural study destinations. Immerse yourself in an environment where you feel at home, surrounded by like-minded individuals who are driven by creativity and innovation.  

Beyond the classroom, our campuses provide a vibrant social life, offering numerous activities, clubs, and societies. Stoke and Stafford campuses are located in low-cost, cultural and thriving areas, while our London campus extends our reach to the heart of the European capital of technology. With us, you’ll have access to a range of opportunities, further enhancing your student experience.  

These are just a few reasons why our students rated us as a Top 5 UK University.   

Whether you’re applying for the first time or are exploring other options, Staffordshire University welcomes you to embrace the Next Generation of Education. 

Call us on 0800 590 830

Get an instant decision online at www.staffs.ac.uk/clearing 

Advice from a once International Student who is now a Lecturer to International Students

by Dr Itoro Ekpo

After my first degree in Nigeria, my next step was to proceed with a Master’s degree and UK was my first and only choice. Before coming to the UK, the only country I had visited was South Africa. Although that is an African country, I still had the culture shock, for example, their cars are right-hand drive, and the weather was very cold. Let’s proceed to me arriving the UK for my Masters; the first thing that greeted me was the cold weather in October and the confusion on how to cross the road. Regarding the weather, South Africa was a learning ground for me. First advice for students, come prepared with winter wears because the weather will be cold for those starting in September or January.

Dr Itoro Ekpo –

In my first class, I addressed my lecturer as Sir, and he told me to call him Nick. I was shocked by that because back home you are not allowed to call your lecturer by name. Now as a lecturer in a UK University, I understand when student address me as Ma or anything else because I was once in their shoes. I encourage them to address me by my first name. Some students tend to adjust immediately, while some can’t just accept it. The second advice for the students is it is okay to call your lecturers/tutor/teacher by their first name and you will not be penalised. For academics, don’t be fussy about how you are addressed as the international students are from different environments, give them time and grace.

I resumed late for my MSc programme; hence, I needed all the support to be able to submit my first formative assessment but what did I do? I went to my colleagues for help, although my lecturers had told me to contact them for support since they were aware that I resumed late. I submitted my first assessment, and the feedback made me realise that my writing style needed to change, I needed to be critical and avoid copy and paste. I realised that I had a long way to go as I was use to producing what I was taught word for word and give back what I read from a textbook or article word for word without paraphrasing. The third advice for students is never copy and paste as you will be penalised, you need to paraphrase your work to avoid plagiarism. Now as a lecturer, I encourage students from the first class to start the practice of paraphrasing because they can easily plagiarise their assessment.

One of the comments on my first feedback was to ask for support from the tutor. While I was trying to figure out how I was going to approach my tutors for support I was surprised when one of them requested to see me after the class and mentioned that he had still not received my support session request. This made me realise that the necessary support is there, but I just needed to ask and that my tutors are approachable. The fourth advice is, always ask for help and do not leave it to the last minute (submission deadline)

All work and no play makes Itoro a dull girl. I signed up for school trips and networking events on campus to widen my network and make friends with people from other cultures. As a lecturer, I noticed that international students tend to walk and work with colleagues from the same country. Final advice is get out of your comfort zone and make friends with people from other countries. The new friend may be the person that will take your project/ work/ business to the next level. Expand your circle but ensure to do that wisely.

Other articles that may interest you

How Staffordshire University is a top choice for international students by Onkar Chavan

Interesting places in Stoke on Trent for an international student to visit by Onkar Chavan

Interesting places to visit in Stoke-on-Trent if you’re coming as an International Student

by Onkar Chavan international student on the MSc Digital Marketing Management

Stoke-on-Trent is a city located in the central region of England, specifically in Staffordshire County. As of the 2021 census, the city’s population exceeds 258,400 individuals. “The Potteries” is the collective name for the city’s five towns: Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke, Fenton, and Longton. This name originates from the city’s rich history in pottery production. 

The city is the World Capital of Ceramics. For centuries, the city has been moulded by its pottery production, fostering a globally renowned reputation for innovation, science, art, culture, and entrepreneurial spirit. Even today, the city remains an irresistible destination for pottery enthusiasts! 

With engaging factory tours, exceptional visitor centres, and captivating museums, you’ll be immersed in the rich history and tradition of this time-honoured craft. Moreover, you can get hands-on experience, trying your hand at the potter’s wheel for a truly entertaining insight. 

Make your university experience even more exciting in Stoke-on-Trent city as we show you four interesting places to visit in the city that will make your experience more unique! 

  1. The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery 

One of the top attractions for Art and History lovers is the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery. Located in the Town of Hanley and within a walking distance of 20 minutes from Staffordshire University. A major highlight of the Museum is the impressive Spitfire Gallery, dedicated to the renowned aircraft. 

Back in 1972, the City of Stoke-on-Trent received a generous donation of Spitfire RW388. This exceptional plane serves as a tribute to Reginald J. Mitchell, the brilliant mind behind the Spitfire’s design, who hailed from North Staffordshire and became one of the most illustrious aeronautical engineers of his time. After a meticulous three-year restoration project, the iconic Spitfire has been restored to its former splendour and now commands the 3800 sq ft, glass-fronted gallery, offering the privilege of 24/7 viewing. Alongside the RW388 Spitfire, the permanent exhibition also showcases captivating displays that celebrate the life and achievements of the iconic designer, Reginald Mitchell. 

Step into Stoke-on-Trent’s rich history at the Local History Gallery. Explore recreated room settings, from a nostalgic schoolroom to a charming pub and a cosy chip shop, immersing yourself in the past. 

Nature lovers will be captivated by the Natural Science gallery’s vivid depiction of the Potteries’ geology and wildlife. Discover the beauty of moorlands, forests, and wetlands with meticulous detail. Don’t miss the interactive Discovery Zone, where you’ll learn about preserving our diverse natural world. 

  1. Trentham Estate Gardens 

The Trentham estate, located in Staffordshire, England, became a showcase of Brown’s genius, featuring sweeping lawns, serene lakes, and strategically placed groves of trees that seamlessly blend with the surrounding countryside. Capability Brown, a renowned English landscape architect of the 18th century, left an indelible mark on Trentham Estate gardens. 

Trentham Gardens

Fast forward 250 years, and today you’ll witness one of the most remarkable garden restorations of the past half-century. The great Italian Garden has been lovingly restored by Tom Stuart-Smith, boasting an array of plants, fountains, and enchanting walkways. Alongside, a pergola adorned with diverse rose varieties adds to the charm. Visitors can either enjoy a circular walk around the lake or opt for boat trips to savour this natural masterpiece. 

  1. Factory Tours and Shops 

Being the World Capital of ceramics, the city has many factories and shops Observe the fascinating process of crafting products, as 20 skilled pairs of hands meticulously contribute to the creation of each item. Step into the shops, where you can find a splendid collection of fully sustainable, UK-made fine bone China items.  

For a mere £7.50, the Moorcroft Heritage Visitor Centre offers an unforgettable experience, encompassing a captivating factory tour, the exploration of a Grade II listed bottle oven, delightful shopping, and an enriching museum visit. 

The factory tour is a mesmerizing journey, revealing the intricate processes behind each unique, hand-crafted Moorcroft piece. Remarkably, these time-honoured techniques have remained unchanged for over a century. Crafted by hand for collectors worldwide, the designs boast rich, deep colours, resulting in stunning works of art available for viewing and purchase at the Moorcroft shop. 

You can also visit LoveClay Ceramics Centre, Duchess China 1888 and Emma Bridgewater Factory

  1. Trentham Monkey Forest 

Looking for some wildlife experience? Trentham Monkey Forest is your place to go. 

The enchanting Trentham Monkey Forest is a haven for 140 free-roaming Barbary macaques. Nestled in the serene woodlands of Staffordshire, this extraordinary sanctuary allows the monkeys to thrive without cages or bars. Embark on a mesmerizing 3/4-mile woodland path, where you can witness these playful creatures living freely, just as they would in the wild. Be captivated as they frolic on the ground and swing from the trees, displaying their natural behaviours in all their glory. Don’t be surprised if they venture right in front of you! 

Next-Gen Business: How Staffordshire University is becoming a top choice for National and International Business Students 

by Onkar Chavan – International student

The statistics from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) reveal that 19% of students in the UK are enrolled in business and management courses, making it the most popular field of study. In response to this demand, Staffordshire University’s business school has launched new undergraduate and postgraduate programs. But first, let’s explore why this university has become a sought-after destination for both local and international students.

Next-Gen Business

The Business School aims to become a leader in business education by providing Next Generation Business Education, Experience, Environment and Engagement. The business degrees in the university have been designed with the careers of tomorrow in mind and developed in collaboration with leading industry partners.

The university guarantees the opportunity to undertake work placements both in the UK and abroad along with your studies to get you the real-world working experience that sets you apart and enhances your academic journey. The university has a state-of-the-art new £40m Catalyst building designed to emulate real-world working environments. The building is equipped with high-quality, digitally enabled spaces that foster collaboration, creativity, and Engagement with the business community. 

Some of the current international students on a visit to a major business

Good Connectivity to Metropolitan Cities

The university is situated in Stoke-on-Trent, a central location in the UK. This advantageous geographic location provides easy access to other parts of the country, such as Manchester and Birmingham, with only a one-hour train ride from Stoke-on-Trent railway station. This is especially beneficial for business students who may not be able to afford living in those cities for work, as they can find more affordable living and commuting options here. 

Low Cost of Living

Staffordshire University is located in Staffordshire, within the West Midlands region of England. It is situated in the city of Stoke on Trent, which makes it one of the most affordable places to live and study in the UK. However, managing finances has become challenging due to the increasing inflation and interest rates. This location provides cost-effective rental housing compared to other regions in the country, making it a preferred choice for numerous national and international students to pursue their studies. As a result of the affordable property rates, food and other expenses are also comparatively cheaper than other parts of the UK. Despite the UK’s economic cost of living crisis, where several shops and businesses are shutting down, Stoke-on-Trent is thriving with the emergence of new businesses, establishing itself as a powerhouse for SMEs and startups. 

Visitor Attractions & Parks – 

In the central part of England, there are several visitor attractions that students can visit, including Alton Towers and Peak District National Park. Alton Towers is the UK’s largest theme park, and students can benefit from discounted rates to enjoy its rides and attractions. Although it may be a small town, there are two city centres located just a few miles from the University, where students can indulge in a variety of leisure activities, such as watching movies, clubbing, and shopping. 

If you are an international student considering studying Business in the UK, Staffordshire University may be your top pick. 

Below are the new business courses the university has introduced for the year 2023-24 that are available in Clearing. 

Postgraduate courses taught

The Accidental Manager – Operations/Departmental Manager Apprenticeship

by Su Wright-Lewis

Day 1

I hated school. I’ll probably be the oldest person here.

Having applied for an apprenticeship with trepidation, the accidental manager arrives at the University prepared with notebooks, charged laptop and a full pencil case.

What on earth was I thinking? This isn’t for me…

As they sit down and look around the room, imposter syndrome kicks in.

This room is full of real managers. People who know what they’re talking about.

But it’s too late to leave now. And the lecturer seems friendly enough.

I’ll leave it til the end of the day, and then I’ll let my manager know we’ve made a terrible mistake.

The students introduce themselves and start with an icebreaker

Please don’t ask me anything, please don’t ask me anything

The students are asked to anonymously give one word to describe their feelings, right there in that very moment on Day 1.

Figure 1 – student feelings on day 1

Unsure, average, apprehensive, nervous…. That’s how I’m feeling too. Well that makes me feel better. Yet I’m curious, and I’m excited. I want to be the best manager I can, I want to motivate my team and improve performance.

The lecturer discusses what we will learn in Module 1 and how this will be applied in our roles. Starting with motivation and team performance.

Maybe this is for me…..

Defining an accidental manager

An accidental manager refers to an individual who finds themselves in a managerial position without necessarily having the formal training, experience, or intention to become a manager. This situation often arises when someone excels in their technical or specialized role and is promoted to a managerial position due to their expertise or tenure, rather than their leadership or management skills.

However, being an accidental manager doesn’t mean that a person cannot grow and develop into an effective leader. With the right support, mentoring, and training, they can acquire the necessary management skills and become successful in their new role. Organizations can provide resources, such as leadership programs or workshops, to help accidental managers enhance their managerial capabilities and improve their overall performance.

The Operations/Departmental Manager Apprenticeship provides the perfect opportunity to hone and develop the management and leadership skills and knowledge required to be an effective leader.

Full time employment alongside a Level 5 apprenticeship brings its own challenges, but also provides an excellent opportunity to learn as you earn, removing the financial concerns that a traditional University route can bring.

Working with other managers from a range of industries, you will be encouraged to share your experiences and learn from others within a blended setting of face to face and online learning forums.

Staffordshire University are proud to be the only University in the country who can boast “Centre of Excellence Accreditation” from ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) due to the high quality of student work and high number of distinction grades.

We believe that our success stems from the support available through the student journey, including our passionate and supportive academic team who are industry experts in leadership and management. You can see some of our student feedback below.

You will also be assigned a Work Based Education Officer who will mentor you throughout the course to ensure that you are reaching your full potential and have access to any support services you may require. Speaking of support services, we recognise that for those from a practical background, the academic life can feel a little daunting. To coach you through the world of academia, we have a specialised academic support team who can provide one to one coaching, or tutorials around referencing, citation or academic writing.

Student feedback

Our apprenticeships offer a well-rounded learning experience that combines practical skills development, mentorship, industry-recognized credentials, and a smoother transition into management careers or promotion. These advantages make apprenticeships an appealing option for individuals seeking to kick-start their careers or acquire new skills in leadership.

2 Years Later….

I did it. I can’t believe I did it. I never thought I’d graduate. Me! Graduate!

Getting the call with my results was a proud moment for me and has given me the confidence to know, that I am a manager, but am no longer accidental.

Find out all about our apprenticships here

or email Su