From education to employment

Degree apprenticeships review 2021 – The Institute aim to carry out a public consultation this spring

@IFATEched are reviewing their degree apprenticeships policy:

The purpose of the review is to:

  1. recognise and respond to labour-market demand by increasing the number and range of occupations that can be supported by a degree apprenticeship​
  2. create a specific brand of degree apprenticeship (distinctive from other academic or vocational degree provision) that has clear quality characteristics that government, employers and HE in partnership can define, secure and protect​
  3. make sure these apprenticeships are delivering the best they can for both employers and apprentices

We aim to carry out a public consultation in spring 2021. This is to gain further views from all stakeholders to help us shape the final guidance.

A degree apprenticeship standard includes a mandated bachelor’s or master’s degree.

They were introduced in 2015 and since then higher education institutions and employers have worked together develop degree apprenticeships in a range of occupations. At this time, there was no requirement on employers to show any labour market requirement in support of a degree and little guidance on what a good degree apprenticeship might look like.

Currently, we have:

  • 134 apprenticeship at level 6 and 7
  • 93 are degree apprenticeships (level 6, 70; level 7, 23)
  • 52 are ‘integrated degree apprenticeships’ (the assessment of the degree and the apprenticeship are aligned)

The same policy applies to degree apprenticeships as other apprenticeships. This includes the criteria for mandating qualifications. This can limit the development of degree apprenticeships.

Last year, we set up a working group to develop degree apprenticeship policy proposals. We have consulted with employers, higher education bodies and institutions, Ofsted and the Office for Students.

We met with Gillian Keegan – Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills – back in December who agreed to our proposals.

We are currently working with a reference group of employers, higher education bodies and institutions, Ofsted and the Office for Students to develop these further. We intend to carry out a public consultation to gain further views from all stakeholders to help us shape the final guidance in spring 2021.

How does this affect trailblazer work?

If you are currently developing or revising a level 6 or 7 apprenticeship, your relationship manager will keep you up to date with policy intention on degree apprenticeships.

You can continue to develop your apprenticeship in line with the current policy or wait until the final guidance is introduced.

Once the guidance is ready to be published, we will provide you with a notice period before it is applied. We do not expect any affected apprenticeships to be revised immediately.

We will support trailblazer groups to update degree apprenticeships that are already approved for delivery, in line with the final guidance. We will phase this in gradually when the apprenticeships are reviewed as part of our business-as-usual processes.

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