14 November 2016
The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has announced this week that a new government multi-million pound fund will allow universities and colleges across England to develop new degree apprenticeships for students starting in September 2017. What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is an earn-as-you-learn option for anyone aged 16 and over, who is not in full-time education and is eligible to work in the UK. Higher or degree apprenticeships usually follow sucessful completion of A Levels and are designed for students aged 18 or over. Apprenticeships are becoming increasingly popular and respected in England as an alternative route to employment for young people. Designed by employers, universities and professional bodies, degree apprenticeships deliver high-tech and high level skills and offer an alternative to a traditional degree course. Bringing together university study with paid work, degree apprentices spend part of their time at university and part with their employer. Funding boost for degree apprenticeships
The new £4.5 million fund will offer higher education establishments the chance to work in partnership with leading employers, creating 5,200 new degree level apprenticeship places. The announcement comes ahead of the new Apprenticeship Levy, which will be introduced in April 2017. The levy will be introduced at a rate of 0.5 per cent of an employer’s annual pay bill, collected monthly via PAYE. The levy applies to all UK employers but only those with a pay bill of over £3m will pay it. Employers will have an annual fixed allowance of £15,000, which they can offset against their levy payment.