How degree apprenticeships work

Government has reformed the way in which apprenticeships are delivered and funded in England. To achieve its ambition to increase the number of high-quality apprenticeships and address skills shortages in key industries it has placed employers at the centre of the process for designing apprenticeships. Employers play a crucial role in developing apprenticeship standards via trailblazer groups in order to ensure that apprentices are equipped with the knowledge, skills and behaviours necessary to succeed in their particular occupation.

An apprenticeship is a job with an accompanying skills development programme. Through a combination of work experience and off-the-job training, the apprentice is able to acquire new knowledge and then embed their learning in a professional environment. Specifically, a degree apprenticeship enables learners to achieve a bachelor’s or master’s degree without having to contribute toward tuition fees.

Apprenticeships are suitable for both training new employees and for upskilling existing staff. In addition to helping businesses grow their talent pool, apprenticeships can contribute to increasing employee satisfaction and reducing staff turnover. An employer guide has been published by the National Apprenticeship Service.

As of April 2017, employers with a gross annual payroll in excess of £3m have been subject to a levy of 0.5% of their PAYE total. These contributions are ring-fenced in the employer’s digital account for 24 months and can be used to meet the cost of training and assessing their apprentices. More guidance on the levy is available from HMRC. In addition, The Education and Skills Funding Agency have developed an online tool to allow organisations to estimate how much funding they have available to spend on apprenticeships and how much the government will contribute towards the cost of training.

Degree apprenticeships at Bath

The University of Bath's academic portfolio has incorporated work-based learning in the form of placement provision since its creation by Royal Charter in 1966. We regard apprenticeships as a natural extension of the employer relationships which we have developed over our first 50 years.

The placement experience gained by our students is a factor in making us a leading UK university for graduate employability in managerial/professional level jobs. We are ranked 4th for graduate starting salaries and 7th for graduate prospects in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. We hold a Gold award in the Teaching Excellence Framework and are ranked 4th for overall student satisfaction in THE's Student Experience Survey 2018.