AN EXTRA 65 places are to be created at Huddersfield University under the Government's new Foundation Degree scheme.

And many more are expected to follow suit.

Foundation degrees are similar to Higher National Diploma qualifications and are in vocational subjects ranging from creative and digital production to health and social care.

They can be studied part-time while still working - subject to approval by employers.

But many employers are working hand- in-hand with universities to devise the degree programmes to enable and encourage staff to gain more qualifications.

The Department for Education and Skills announced there will be 25 part-time places for the qualification in young people's services and 40 places in educational administration at Huddersfield.

Alan Johnson, Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education Minister, said the new places proved the Government's determination to focus university expansion in vocationally relevant subjects.

An extra 1,180 places will be made available over the next two years at institutions across Yorkshire and Humberside.

"This is great news for Yorkshire and Humberside," said Mr Johnson.

"Local students and the local economy will really benefit from these extra vocational foundation degree courses which have been built with employers to provide a graduate with the relevant skills needed in the workforce."

Phil Williams, head of media relations at Huddersfield University, said: "The degree places are good news because they give people who are working the opportunity to get the qualifications without leaving their jobs.

"They also give the university opportunity to collaborate with different bodies ranging from schools to health, businesses and industry."