Degree apprenticeships: A game changer?

Degree apprenticeships: A game changer?

AliBlogThe advent of the Apprenticeship Levy and the rise to prominence of Degree Apprenticeships (DAs) have been widely described as a potential ‘game changer’ for businesses, higher education providers and young people. But how is the game set to change?

At the National Centre for Universities and Business, we are taking a first look at what the introduction of the levy back in April means for employers’ talent acquisition and development programmes and the consequences, intended or otherwise, for universities and their graduates.

An analysis that we carried out at the turn of the year revealed that, while half of employers don’t offer any kind of work experience or apprenticeships, 55% of those that do combine two or more types. This is significant because it suggests that a change in the relative cost of one may affect the supply of others. Could we see a drop in the availability of placements and internships, which currently play a key part in both the talent strategies of employers and in universities’ attempts to bolster their graduates’ employability?

With the levy now in place and, at the latest count, 14 DA standards approved for delivery we will be conducting several in-depth interviews over the coming weeks to identify emerging trends across our business and university members.

We are also curating some of the key content on DAs on our website, offering expert insight and opinion as well as sharing latest research.

HEFCE, who are supporting our work in this area, commissioned two recent reports investigating the supply and demand of DAs.

The Association of Graduate Recruiters found that 22% of employers surveyed are already reducing other forms of intake to make room for DAs, but also that the majority of those using DAs plan to use them for both new and existing staff.

And Universities UK reported that DA entrants among the 66 providers it surveyed are set to increase seven-fold to just under 5,000 – meaning that in certain areas we are already set for a significant disruptive effect on the graduate market.

So, the emerging picture is a complex and nuanced one, but one on which we hope to shed more light through our research - look out for the report in the Autumn.

By Ali Orr, NCUB Talent and Employability Consultant.

We would love to hear from businesses and universities – take part in the interviews or share your experiences/plans.

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