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National Apprenticeship Week: Are Industry Designed Degree Apprenticeships the Future ?

As part of  National Apprenticeship Week we reflect on the current state of apprenticeships in the UK and look ahead to the arrival of industry designed degree apprenticeships, before revealing how you can save 40% off our upcoming ‘Post 16 learning and apprenticeship conference

Apprenticeships are essential to the UK economy and its productivity, a nation flourishes when it realises the full potential of all of its people. Apprenticeships have long been seen as a crucial way to develop the skills wanted by employers,yet until last year the number of students starting an apprenticeship was down:

‘In 2014/15, there were 499,900 apprenticeship starts in England, 59,500 (14%) more than the previous year. It was the first year since 2011/12 in which apprenticeship numbers increased.’

This has resulted in a drive by the government to research, incentivise, and promote Apprenticeships. The government has committed to a new target of 3 million apprenticeships by 2020, as they attempt to keep up with the likes of Germany, Australia and Switzerland who lead the way in Apprenticeship provision. Recent activity has seen criticism from Ofsted, they believe the rush to develop more apprenticeships has actually diluted their quality. In reaction to this,Skills Minister Nick Boles this week expressed the need to strive for quantity and quality.

 ‘Successfully completing various stages of apprenticeships can add up to between £48,000 and £74,000 for level 2 apprenticeships; and between £77,000 and £117,000 for level 3 apprenticeships. Those completing an apprenticeship at level 4 or above could earn £150,000 more on average over their lifetime.’

The decline has prompted numerous reports on how the government can better support employees and school leavers to offer, and pursue apprenticeships. Most notably the 2013 ‘implementation report’ set out plans to create apprenticeships based on standards designed by employers that meet their needs, the needs of their sector and the economy more widely. The models aim is to ensure consistency and increase confidence, elevating the value placed on apprenticeships. One way of doing this according to the commissioned report would be to put significant emphasis on rigorous independent assessment.

Promotion is also another significant factor in boosting numbers. With a recent report suggesting there is a misconception around pay for apprenticeships, with many students believing it to be unpaid work, the government hope collecting date over the next 5- 10 years will provide a solid case for apprenticeship uptake.

Degree Apprenticeships on the Rise 

Post 16 education has been dominated by the question University degree or Apprenticeships? Which path is better for your future job prospects and so forth? Now a government initiative has brought the best of vocational and higher education together to offer a unique apprenticeship opportunity, the degree apprenticeship. In march last year 9 new industry designed degree courses were made available.gradLarge companies like Starbucks and John Lewis are now expanding their apprenticeship portfolio and are now offering degree level programmes. Research suggests parents are in favour of the change, with 81% of parents believing a degree apprenticeship would provide a better chance of getting a job than a standalone degree.

Let’s Celebrate National Apprenticeship Week!

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW 2016) is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service and is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.


We will be celebrating National Apprenticeship Week with a special discount of 40% off our upcoming ‘Post 16 Learning and Apprenticeships Conference’. The week celebrates apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy. Starting from the 14th of March you can take advantage of this exclusive offer for one week ONLY, when using discount code NAW40

Posted in Education
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