University UK’s (UUK's) survey ‘Degree apprenticeships: realising opportunities’ explores available and developing degree apprenticeship provision across English higher education institutions.
A survey from the Association for Graduate Recruiters (AGR), now the Institute of Student Employers (ISE), captures existing and anticipated demand for degree apprenticeship provision among its 300 employer members.
Extent of degree apprenticeships
Of the 64 HEIs to respond to the survey, 59 institutions are implementing degree apprenticeships (DAs). Of the remaining five, four are considering developing DAs. Engagement ranges from some institutions trialling degree apprenticeship provision to test its viability, while others have already implemented cross-organisational strategies for implementing them across faculties.
Benefits of offering degree apprenticeships
The main reasons cited for developing degree apprenticeships range from increasing engagement with employers to improving social mobility for a broad range of potential apprentices. There is a wide ranging focus on business engagement for all institutions currently active in this space.
Challenges of offering degree apprenticeships
Some of the key challenges cited in UUK’s survey by active institutions were:
- lack of awareness among individuals and employers
- issues to do with Education and Skills Funding Agency processes and expectations
- lack of degree apprenticeships in key occupational areas
- uncertainty of demand and quality assurance arrangements.
The Association for Graduate Recruiters' (AGRs') survey
Responses to the survey show that employers are optimistic that degree apprenticeships can address skills gaps in their organisations.
AGR, now the Institute of Student Employers (ISE), surveyed their membership who are predominantly levy-paying, large organisations with graduate recruitment and school leaver recruitment schemes.