To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that degree apprenticeships support (a) social mobility and (b) lifelong learning among underrepresented groups.
3 September 2019
Apprenticeships benefit people of all ages and backgrounds, offering high quality on and off-the-job training. Level 6+ and degree apprenticeships offer people an alternative to full time university, as well as the opportunity to upskill or re-train throughout their lives.
The Degree Apprenticeship Development Fund (DADF) aims to enable and encourage greater social mobility and widen participation. The DADF has supported 103 higher education (HE) providers and has resulted in 4,464 degree apprentice starts. The Office for Students has published an evaluation of the fund, which can be found at the following link: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/7cd79cd8-536f-49e5-a55f-ebd83b344b16/dadf-evaluation.pdf.
HE providers, such as universities, can include degree apprenticeships in their Access and Participation Plans; these set out how they will support underrepresented groups and help individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds access and succeed in HE. The National Apprenticeship Service works with local partners to ensure that apprenticeships at all levels are available in disadvantaged areas.
We are running an employer engagement campaign, ‘Opportunities through Apprenticeships’, working with partners in Portsmouth, Nottingham, South Tyneside and Torbay. It aims to support social mobility by creating opportunities for more apprentices from disadvantaged areas to undertake high value apprenticeships with higher earnings potential and progression, such as degree apprenticeships.