David Willett, Commercial Director, The Open University

Degree Apprenticeships at the open university are relatively new.

We're entering our third year of developing Degree Apprenticeships, working in partnership with a whole range of both organisations, from small employers, all the way through to large corporates.

Also, most importantly, working in partnership with a range of private training providers and in particular with FE colleges, doing a range of work with both of those types of organisations, everything from:

  • Working with FE colleges at a regional level
  • Looking at progression, how young people in particular could progress from level 2, level 3, level 4 apprenticeships into degree apprenticeships, but also
  • Enabling FE colleges as well to actually deliver degree apprenticeships themselves.

Partnerships to support local areas

One of our most recent partnerships is with Chichester College, where we're licensing and validating them to deliver our chartered manager degree apprenticeships.

That's enabling Chichester to really focus on their local market, supporting their local employers, both small to medium, and large.

Meeting the skills needs of employers

Over the last three years, we've developed nine degree level apprenticeships, either at degree level or one at postgraduate level, our senior leader apprenticeship program.

We're looking to continue to expand that range of programs, but expanding that range of programs to really ensure we're meeting the skills needs of today's employers.

The future of work

People talk about the changing nature of work, and it's important that we're developing solutions that really meet employers’ needs, both large and small.

We know that the nature of work is changing. If you're currently working for a small employer, which make up the majority of employers in the UK, the nature of what you do in that job is changing.

Modular Apprenticeship Standards

One of the things we're calling for in Degree Apprenticeships is more flexibility around apprenticeship standards, to perhaps develop a more modular approach to apprenticeship standards that would give smaller employers greater flexibility in meeting the skills needs of their particular businesses.

David Willett, Commercial Director, The Open University


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