Call for nominations: Chartered ABS Apprenticeships Committee

The Chartered Association of Business Schools is seeking new members for our Apprenticeships Committee.

17th July 2024

Degree Apprenticeships

Data from the Department for Education shows that Business, Administration and Law is the most popular degree apprenticeship level subject, accounting for 47% of all level 6 and level 7 apprentices in 2022/23. In 2022/23 there were 4,710 apprentices enrolled in Business, Administration and Law courses at level 6, and 17,490 enrolled in level 7 courses. Although Law apprenticeships are included in these figures, the more detailed subject breakdown shows that business-related courses account for most learners within Business, Administration and Law.

Among the most popular degree apprenticeships are the Chartered Manager (level 6) and Senior Leaders (level 7), both of which are delivered by members of the Chartered ABS.

What's the value of business and management degree apprenticeships?

The Chartered ABS strongly supports continued investment in Business, Administration and Law degree apprenticeships.

  • Business and management apprenticeships raise productivity by providing learners and employers across the private and public sector with vital high-level management skills. The UK has the lowest productivity in the G7 and low levels of investment in management training by employers. Through these 'employer-led' business and management apprenticeships, employers can increase productivity in their organisations and contribute to improved productivity and growth in the UK economy.

  • Business and management apprenticeships support lifelong learning, from those aged under 24 to mature learners later in their careers. Young people comprise the largest share of business school level 6 apprentices, with 40% aged 24 or under at the start of their study. At level 7, where learners would be expected to be mature, 88% of business & management apprentices are 31 or older.

  • Business school apprenticeships widen access to higher education. Almost one-third of business school apprentices come from communities with low higher education participation rates. Business school apprenticeships also overwhelmingly support those who studies in state schools, with just 2% from public/private schools, and have a higher percentage of learners who are 'first-in-family' compared with traditional degree programmes.

  • Business school apprenticeships provide true progression routes. Across level 6, 86% progress from lower-level qualifications, with nearly a fifth joining with less than A-level equivalents (12% at level 0, 6% at level 2, 48% at level 3, 10% at level 4 and 9% at level 5). Only 9% held a degree prior to their apprenticeship.

  • Degree apprenticeships provide a valuable alternative to traditional degrees which allow apprentices to earn while they learn and to gain a qualification without amassing debt through student loans to cover student fees.

  • Business schools are focused on engaging with the UK's skills agenda and delivering across a range of qualifications. Although increased flexibility in the use of apprenticeship levy funds would be useful in enabling employers to fund non-apprenticeship programmes in a flexible and modularised formats, we do not wish to see a dilution in funding for apprenticeships as these play an important and unique role in helping address the UK's skills gaps.

  • Our members would greatly welcome increased transparency on the apprenticeship levy income received by government as this would be of great benefit for forecasting the future availability of funding. We are concerned that universities are put off from delivering degree apprenticeships by the requirements of a labyrinth of regulators and the proliferation of a multitude of standards. It would be useful if government indicated what they consider to be indicators of success for apprenticeships so that providers know if their programmes are appropriate for meeting these objectives.

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