A consultation has launched today (16 July) on proposals to improve how degree apprenticeships are developed, approved, and work in practice for employers and apprentices.

A key aim is to better capitalise on the prestige that degrees and graduate status carry with employers and the wider labour market, to ensure that level 6 and 7 apprenticeships better meet employers’ skills needs and support apprentices to progress in their careers.

The proposals would create more opportunities for degrees to be included in level 6 and 7 apprenticeships, where employers can demonstrate that graduate status is generally required for an individual to be employed in a particular occupation or sector. Additionally, degree apprenticeships would only be approved where the end-point assessment (EPA) integrates with the final assessment of the degree. EPA would need to involve people with appropriate industry expertise. 

We would also ensure that degree apprenticeships are distinct from other higher education programmes and support further integration of on and off the job training, which is a key principle of all apprenticeships. The idea is to rule out degree apprenticeships that amount to no more than rebadging of existing full-time or part-time degree programmes.

Gillian Keegan, Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, said:

“As we recover from the pandemic it is more important than ever that we support more people to get the skills they need to secure great careers.
“Degree apprenticeships are a fantastic way to earn while you learn, gaining the higher-level skills employers demand.
“These proposals will help make sure degree apprenticeships continue to meet the skills needs of employers, and create even more opportunity to earn whilst you learn for people across the country.”

Jennifer Coupland, chief executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute), said:

“Degree apprenticeships are really popular with apprentices and parents and have met a clear demand from employers for higher level skills.
“With more than four years of degree apprenticeship experience under our belts, since the Institute launched in April 2017, we’ve seen lots of examples of good practice, which we want to make the norm across the whole programme. 
“The skills system has a big part to play in our nation’s economic recovery and the time is right to look at how degree apprenticeships can give more and better opportunities to apprentices and employers. I would like to urge as many people as possible to take part in our consultation and feedback on the plans.”

You can visit the Institute’s website to take part in the consultation that will close at midnight on 16 September.

We will be running a series of stakeholder events to provide an opportunity for people to discuss the proposals in more detail on:

5 August:

2 September:

If you have any further questions please email: Enquiries.IFA@education.gov.uk