The Institute of Economic Development (IED) is delighted that the Professional Economist Integrated Degree Apprenticeship Standard it has been involved in developing has been approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA).

The IED was one of 63 organisations that responded to a consultation on the proposed apprenticeship standard, which ran between 30th November 2017 and 8th January 2018, and is a major step towards the development of Professional Economist degree apprenticeship.

The proposed four-year degree level apprenticeship aims to create a new career route to becoming a professional economist. Public, private and third sector organisations in England will be able to employ school leavers or upskill existing employees using this apprenticeship and access apprenticeship levy funds to pay degree costs.

The apprentices will be paid a salary and will develop all the appropriate knowledge, skills and behaviours of a professional economist through both workplace training and academic learning, culminating in an assessment of occupational competence. Apprentices will work to achieve both an apprenticeship qualification and a degree.

The consultation sought to ensure that the standard will produce apprenticeship graduates that have the appropriate knowledge, skills and behaviours to undertake the role of professional economist in any business in any sector.

The end-point assessment document has now been submitted and, subject to IfA approval, it is hoped that the development of the Professional Economist Integrated Degree Apprenticeship will be complete by summer 2018.   

Dr Emma Gordon, Head of Government Economic & Social Research team at HM Treasury, said: “This consultation was an important part of the development of this Professional Economist Integrated Degree Apprenticeship Standard. I would also like to thank those in both the standard and end-point assessment working groups who worked tirelessly to produce these documents, pragmatically whilst adhering to challenging timelines. It is hugely important that this new route into economics works for the entire profession and the Trailblazer and project team are fully committed to this.”

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IED Executive Director Nigel Wilcock added:  “Our Economic Development Skills and Demand survey, published 18 months ago, showed that our members were experiencing problems with recruitment and a third reported they were not confident that they would be able to recruit the quality of staff they needed. At that time, 56.5% of respondents said they did not have links with universities/colleges to help support recruitment and 78.5% did not have an apprenticeship scheme in place. It was therefore important for the IED to be involved in shaping this degree apprenticeship, as a new way of creating a route into the profession, and we are thrilled that this is going ahead.”

The full consultation report can be found here and the published standard can be found here

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