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Degree apprenticeship explained


Degree apprenticeships were launched by the government in September 2015 and are designed to help businesses develop graduate-level talent through on-the-job and academic training tailored to their needs.

Degree apprenticeship explained

Leeds Beckett is currently working closely with UK employers to design industry-relevant awards which allow staff to boost their skills and earn a qualification which is directly relevant to their job, whilst working.

From April 2017 all organisations with a wage bill over £3 million are contributing 0.5% of the pay bill over £3 million to an apprenticeship levy account that the company can then use to pay for apprenticeships. No large levy payer pays any other contribution other than their levy payment.

Professor Christopher Prince, Pro Vice Chancellor Business Engagement, has been leading the development of the University’s approach to degree apprenticeships. He said: “Leeds Beckett has a long track record of work-based learning and in developing new and innovative ways of delivering relevant programmes. There are a number of new and emerging opportunities as new degree apprenticeship standards are developed. Areas that are likely to come into play include teaching, nursing, social work and a whole host of others.

“At the moment our degree apprenticeship programmes are for levy paying organisations and we are developing a number of relationships both regionally and nationally in key sectors.  One of our new major programmes will be with JD Wetherspoon, developing a management and leadership programme for them across the country.

"As a major employer, the University is also paying the apprenticeships levy.  We are exploring the possibility of being a payer-provider:  recycling some of the levy to benefit our own staff who might study on relevant internal apprenticeships courses."

What is a degree apprenticeship?

A degree apprenticeship is the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree (BA/ BSc) or masters degree qualification and takes three and a half to four years, to complete, studying part time. Degree apprenticeships combine working with studying part-time at a university. Apprentices are employed throughout the programme, and spend part of their time at university and the rest with their employer. This can be on a day-to-day basis or in blocks of time, depending on the programme and requirements of the employer.  Apprentices will complete an assessment at the end of the programme, which tests both academic learning and occupational competence developed through on-the-job training.

The courses are available for new and existing company staff to up-skill in their current role or to be supported into promotion. The employee spends the majority of their time working in the organisation and studies at the University in regular blocks of time. The Government provides support towards the cost of the degrees which is currently up to two thirds of the total fee of the degree apprenticeship programme for levy paying organisations. The employer pays the remainder of the fees, plus the employee’s salary.

Leeds Beckett’s degree apprenticeships

Leeds Beckett currently offer degree apprenticeships in Digital and technology solutions (BSc Digital & technology solutions) and Chartered management (BA Business Management Practice) as well as developing degree apprenticeships courses including - Building Services Manager, Construction Chartered Surveyor, Chartered legal executive/ Solicitor, Nursing, Teaching, MSc Digital & Technology Solutions and MA Senior Leader.

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