Degree apprenticeships receive a multi-million pound boost

Posted on 24 Mar 2016 by Jonny Williamson

A new multi-million pound fund to increase the number of degree apprenticeships available to young people has been launched today by the Business Secretary Sajid Javid on a visit to Manchester Metropolitan University.

First launched in September last year, degree apprenticeships allow for the study for a full Bachelors or Master’s Degree while working.

Universities and employers are getting on board with, institutions including Sheffield University and Queen Mary’s University London working in partnership with top employers such as Transport for London (TfL) and BAE Systems.

The new funding will help even more people get a degree while earning in one of the country’s top businesses; £8m will be focused on supporting universities to design and deliver new degree apprenticeships, while a further £2m will be devoted to encouraging more learners to choose degree apprenticeships.

The fund will run for the next two years and the process for universities bidding for the funds will be announced in April.

Research from Universities UK published last week as part of National Apprenticeship Week found that although degree apprenticeships are relatively new, numbers are growing, with an estimated 1,500 – 2,000 starts for 2016 across 40 universities.

Sajid Javid, Secretary for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Sajid Javid, Secretary for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid commented: “We launched degree apprenticeships to unlock life changing opportunities for young people and give businesses the skills they need.

“This multi-million pound fund will go further in helping universities and employers design new top quality degree apprenticeships and open doors to our young people.”

Ministers are working to strengthen the reputation of on-the-job training by raising standards, creating thousands more places and protecting the term apprenticeship in the same way as degrees.

More than 60 people are already studying at Manchester Metropolitan University as part of its Digital and Technology Solutions Professional degree apprenticeship.

The course sees students working in employers such as Barclays, Lloyds and Astra Zeneca, and with local employers Reality Mine, and Mc2.

Manchester Metropolitan University is planning to deliver a chartered manager degree apprenticeship from Sept 2015 with major national employers.

Provisional figures released yesterday show a dramatic increase in the number of people starting higher apprenticeships.

The official figures show that there were more than 30,000 people on higher apprenticeships from August 2015 – January 2016.

The figures also show that there are more young people staring apprenticeships, with over 84,000 starts by under 19 year olds between August 2015 – January 2016.