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Apprentices: Degrees

Question for Department for Education

UIN 94475, tabled on 16 December 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the take-up of degree apprenticeships against his Department's initial targets for take-up.

Answered on

10 January 2022

Apprenticeships at levels 6 and 7, including degree apprenticeships, are an important and growing part of our education and skills system and we are encouraged by the take-up so far. We have seen year on year growth since their inception, and in the last academic year there were 58,760 starts on apprenticeships at levels 6 and 7, that is 74.4% growth in 2020/21 compared to 2018/19.

Our apprenticeship reforms have put employers firmly in the driving seat and a market led approach ensures that apprenticeships are responsive to business needs both in terms of the content of the apprenticeship and availability. Employers take the decisions about who they recruit as an apprentice, and which type and level of apprenticeship they offer.

Employers, working in partnership with providers, have already developed over 150 apprenticeship standards available at levels 6 and 7, of which over 100 include a degree. As these are jobs with training, they directly address skills shortages for employers. They are available in a wide range of sectors such as aerospace, automotive, digital, engineering, financial, health, leadership, legal, manufacturing, nuclear and protective services.

Higher and degree apprenticeships support productivity, social mobility and widening participation in higher education and employment. So, whilst we have seen positive growth of degree apprenticeships, we would like to see even more.

We continue to encourage more employers to consider using these apprenticeships to meet the skills needs of their industries. Education providers, including universities, have a vital role to play in working with employers to offer these apprenticeships wherever there is employer demand.