From education to employment

Apprenticeship Levy Offers Route to Levelling Up the North East, When Paired With Executive Education

Durham University Business School

Businesses in the North East of England could be doing more to utilise training support schemes, such as the Apprenticeship Levy, to upskill their staff and grow their operations, say faculty from Durham University Business School, which is set to run its Senior Leader Apprenticeship (SLA) Executive Education Programme in January 2023 via the UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy scheme.

The School has harnessed the Levy to enhance its portfolio of Executive Education programmes, says Professor Ian Whitfield, Programme Director for the SLA, to make senior level education more accessible to aspiring managers, helping local businesses to remain competitive both domestically and internationally in increasingly turbulent times for the economy.

Professor Whitfield says;

“Many more companies could benefit from making good use of the levy for executive education and, in doing so, contribute towards levelling up in the North East and other regions of England. In the current challenging economic climate and rapidly evolving ways of working, there is clear value in using the apprenticeship levy as a tool to invest in lifelong learning and professional development. Importantly, a senior leader apprenticeship adds significant value to participants at many stages of their journey to senior leadership roles.”

The SLA has been specifically designed for highly motivated middle to senior managers aspiring to become more responsible, innovative leaders. Delivered part-time over 18 months, the programme will provide participants with a future focused curriculum, specifically tailored to meet participants’ and employers’ needs.

Professor Whitfield continues;

“The Senior Leader Apprenticeship is an important initiative that facilitates the continuous development of leadership skills and abilities for participants both regionally and nationally. At Durham, the apprenticeship is delivered at a triple-accredited business school located in a university renowned as an outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence. Furthermore, the programme provides an excellent opportunity for organisations to take advantage of the apprenticeship levy.”

Participants will have the opportunity to enhance core leadership skills through subject areas, covering strategic management, international marketing and finance, organisational behaviour as well as developing a firm grounding in contemporary and increasingly vital disciplines such as technology management, sustainability and business ethics.

Learning will be led by the business school’s expert faculty, with contributions from respected industry leaders, and will be delivered in a classroom-based setting, as well as utilising Durham University Business School’s reputable online learning capabilities to provide additional materials, virtual activities and assessments.

The support from the Apprenticeship Levy scheme means that participants entering Durham’s SLA under a levy-paying employer will be able to have the study costs covered in their entirety, whilst non-levy paying employers could claim up to 95% of costs back from the Government.

Participants will continue with their careers throughout the duration of their studies, enabling learning to be applied directly to their professional lives, providing an additional benefit to employers.

Upon graduation, participants will not only be awarded a Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship qualification, but also a Postgraduate Certificate in Senior Leadership Development by Durham University. 

To develop their management skills further, participants will be offered the opportunity to build their qualification further  by joining Durham’s prestigious Online MBA programme, which has been ranked 3rd in the UK and 7th globally by the Financial Times.

Chris Riding, a Portfolio Director at Sage Group PLC and current participant of the SLA programme believes the programme has provided him with a means to develop his capabilities, develop new ideas, and apply them practically.

Chris says;

“The Senior Leader Apprenticeship has been a real development opportunity for me, stretching my learning and helping me contextualise what I have been taught into my business environment. The course has allowed me to step outside of my day to day activities and test my understanding of the subjects taught in both an academic and practical way. These experiences have given me the confidence to take ideas back into my workplace and apply themes and practice to work I am undertaking. This has brought value to the teams I lead and wider business as I continue to grow and nurture the skills shared.”

Applications for the SLA programme  are currently open, with teaching set to begin on January 23rd 2023.

For details of how to apply, eligibility, funding information and programme content, please visit the Durham University Business School website or send an enquiry to Katherine Kirby, Senior Business Development Manager, via: [email protected]

About Durham University Business School

Durham University Business School is part of Durham University, one of the oldest established universities in the UK and is one of an elite group of business schools in the UK to hold triple accreditation. Triple accreditation, or the “Triple Crown”, is only achieved by a select few of the best business schools in Europe. Durham University Business School has the privilege of being accredited by the three most important accreditation organisations AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), AMBA (Association of MBAs) and EFMD/EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System).

The School offers a range of acclaimed programmes and attracts considerable levels of external research funding, enjoying extensive links within both the business and academic worlds. The School is also an internationally renowned research-led institution with a network of over 36,000 alumni from more than 140 countries.

The School is a top 50 European Business School, as confirmed once again by the most recent Financial Times ranking in December 2021. Last month, The Economist Which MBA also ranked Durham 67th globally and 2nd in the UK for the most recent ranking of the flagship Full Time MBA programme. Within this ranking, for the key domain of ‘Personal development and Educational experience’ Durham placed 10th globally and 1st in the UK. For ‘Student quality’ Durham ranked 4th globally and were also 1st in the UK.

For more information on Durham University Business School visit:

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