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The fund will provide £8 million starting in academic year 2016-17 to help universities and colleges work with employers to develop new degree apprenticeships ready for delivery from academic year 2017-18 (Note 1).  

The Skills Funding Agency will receive a further £2 million to encourage more learners to take up degree apprenticeships. 

The fund was announced last month by the Business Secretary, Sajid Javid (Note 2). It forms one element of the Government’s strategy for expanding apprenticeships in order to improve vocational opportunities for young people and address skills gaps to increase productivity and improve economic performance. 

HEFCE’s Director (Policy), Chris Millward, said: 

‘Degree apprenticeships are an exciting development for students, employers, universities and colleges. They provide a new route for students to progress through higher education whilst in work, and for employers to secure the higher level skills they need.  In doing so, they secure positive educational and employment outcomes with benefits well beyond the students and employers involved. 

‘The development fund is aimed at expanding apprenticeship provision in order to provide high-quality choices for students and employers who will be looking to spend their apprenticeship levy on higher-level skills from 2017-18.  

‘We hope that it will encourage all higher education institutions to consider how they might work with employers to develop alternatives to traditional routes through higher education, which meet industry needs.’ 

Further information and guidance about how to bid for the fund will be published at the end of this month. Queries can be sent to  


1.  First launched in September 2015, degree apprenticeships are available in England to enable the study of a full Bachelor’s or Master’s degree while working. 

2.  See the BIS press release  

3. See further information on degree apprenticeships.