Report predicts significant growth in degree apprenticeships

But UUK calls for universities to be given more support over working courses

March 9, 2017
apprenticeship Airbus trainee workers
Source: Getty

England is “on the verge of a significant success story” in degree apprenticeships but government and the new Institute for Apprenticeships need to offer support, according to a Universities UK report.

The report, based on a survey of 66 universities and published on 9 March during National Apprenticeships Week, finds that there are “at least 60 universities and other higher education institutions across England currently implementing or planning to implement degree apprenticeships” for 2017-18.

Degree apprenticeships, co-designed by employers and higher education institutions, offer students the chance to gain professional skills through study for a full degree without paying tuition fees, while in paid employment for at least 30 hours a week.

Most growth is focused in “chartered manager, digital and technology, and engineer-related degree apprenticeships”, the report says.

Employers including Mercedes-Benz, Nestlé, IBM, Airbus and Transport for London are already working with universities to offer degree apprenticeships, says UUK.

The report, titled Degree Apprenticeships: Realising Opportunities, finds that there will be a 658 per cent increase in degree apprenticeship entrants between 2015-16 and 2017-18, from 640 to 7,611.

The report recommends that government “continue and increase efforts to publicise and raise understanding of degree apprenticeships”, including making employers fully aware of their availability.

In addition, the Institute for Apprenticeships should make sure higher education institutions “are as engaged, involved and supported as all other providers”, the report says.

“We are on the verge of a significant success story, one that will promote local opportunities and growth, improve productivity and contribute to the industrial strategy,” it concludes.

“Now is the time for the government and the new Institute for Apprenticeships to ensure that their policies and processes support the success of all apprenticeships and meet the needs of all providers.”

Julia Goodfellow, Universities UK president and University of Kent vice-chancellor, said: “Many people feel they have been left behind in the drive to increase higher-level skills in recent years. Degree apprenticeships are an excellent way to get to these harder-to-reach groups, while at the same time ensuring that what we deliver on campus meets the needs of students, the local area and its employers.

“The report shows that there is a still long way to go in communicating to students and employers how degree apprenticeships work and the mutual benefits. We would urge the government to work with us to do more here as part of its industrial strategy.

“The artificial dividing line between academic and vocational education is gradually disappearing. Degree apprenticeships build on the work that universities already do to deliver skills that employers need.”

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Worried man wiping forehead
Two academics explain how to beat some of the typical anxieties associated with a doctoral degree
A group of flamingos and a Marabou stork

A right-wing philosopher in Texas tells John Gill how a minority of students can shut down debates and intimidate lecturers – and why he backs Trump

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

As the country succeeds in attracting even more students from overseas, a mixture of demographics, ‘soft power’ concerns and local politics help explain its policy