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What are degree apprenticeships? 

There are currently around 1000 degree apprenticeships. Government has made a pledge to increase the number of apprenticeships starts to 3 million by 2020.  

To support this aim we are helping higher education providers develop and deliver degree apprenticeships. 

A degree apprenticeship is a real job where the employer invests in training and the employee receives a first degree during the course of the apprenticeship. Apprentices work for 30 hours a week. 

Learning fits around that work commitment and requires flexible learning modes like day or block release, distance or blended learning. 

Facts and quick links

Information about degree apprenticeships is still emerging. For now we recommend that universities and colleges interested in them and the employer levy should read:

The levy

To fund the increase in apprenticeships, the Government is introducing an apprenticeship levy from April 2017. 

The levy will amount to a 0.5 per cent tax on the wage bill for employers whose salary costs are £3 million or more each year.  

It should generate approximately £3 billion a year and levied funds can only be spent on an approved apprenticeship. 

So what has changed in the latest proposal?

Read the latest proposal for how the apprenticeships support package for employers in England will work from May 2017.

Small businesses with a pay bill of less than £3 million will have 90 per cent of the training fees for apprentices paid on their behalf by levy-generated funds.  This support will be extended for apprentices between the ages of 16 to 18, as employers will receive around £2,000 more per apprentice.

Larger levy-paying businesses will be able to access similar support if the costs of taking on apprentices exceed the funds in their digital accounts (where their allocated funding for apprenticeships will be held).

The new proposals also set out a cap of between £1,500 and £27,000 on the amount of digital funds an employer is able to allocate to each individual apprenticeship.  The precise figure is determined by the ‘funding band’ in which the apprenticeship falls. Employers will be required to negotiate prices with apprenticeship providers to keep within these funding limits.

Support for institutions

Higher education providers intending to deliver apprenticeships, including degree apprenticeships, must register on the SFA-managed Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP). The registration process closed on 25 November 2016.

To support institutions through application to RoATP, HEFCE is working with the University Vocational Awards Council, to develop and deliver guidance and support.


View recordings and slides from webinars on RoATP applications

Invitation to tender (ITT)

View recordings and slides from webinars on ITT applications for funding to deliver degree apprenticeships

Page last updated 21 September 2016