Highly skilled employees are one of the biggest assets any business can have.
By investing in your team through degree apprenticeships, you can develop industry leaders and reap the rewards for many years to come.
But what are degree apprenticeships, and how exactly can they benefit businesses? Here's everything you need to know.
What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a way of combining workplace training with study, so employees can develop their expertise, earn a relevant qualification and bring the benefits of their increased knowledge back to your business. Whether you’re looking to develop the skills of new or existing team members, apprenticeships can help employees to enhance their careers and embrace new opportunities.
Apprenticeships are tailored around occupational job roles, so employees can develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to succeed in their specific roles. A range of apprenticeship levels are available, depending on the knowledge and experience of individual employees.
To be awarded their apprenticeship, employees need to successfully complete an end-point assessment which will assess whether they’ve gained the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to pass their apprenticeship standard.
What is a degree apprenticeship?
A degree apprenticeship allows an employee to work towards a degree or Master’s degree, which is integrated into the programme of learning. This degree will need to be completed successfully in order for the employee to pass the end-point assessment for their apprenticeship.
How your business could benefit from degree apprenticeships
1. Get the best out of your team
Degree apprenticeships can help you to develop talented staff to reach their full potential. For example, if you’ve identified skills gaps in your organisation, an apprenticeship programme could allow a member of your team with an interest in that area to bridge the gap and make a move in their career which otherwise may not have been possible. This could reduce the need for expensive and time-consuming recruitment for specialist roles, and also means you can place someone in that role who already knows your business inside out.
Degree apprenticeships can also have knock-on benefits for your wider team, as apprentices will benefit from the latest thought leadership and insights and they’ll be able to share their knowledge and mentor others.
2. Motivate and retain valuable staff
Staff with years of knowledge and experience are hugely valuable to your business, but they need to be nurtured if you don’t want to risk losing them. Investing in their skills through degree apprenticeships can boost motivation and loyalty, reducing the likelihood of them looking elsewhere for career development opportunities and helping you retain their talent in your business.
3. Make the most of apprenticeship funding
You may be eligible for funding to help you cover the cost of providing degree apprenticeships, making this a cost-effective way of delivering specialist training. Apprenticeship funding is paid for via apprenticeship levy funds, and businesses are either levy-paying or non-levy paying employers.
If your business pays the apprenticeship levy, you can use your Employer Levy Fund to fully or partially fund apprenticeship programmes (up to a maximum price set by the government), so you can make the most of this pot of funds.
Alternatively, if your business is a non-levy paying employer such as an SME, you can request to reserve funding through the Apprenticeship Service. If accepted, this involves co-investment in which the business pays 5% towards the cost of apprenticeship training and you can apply for the government to cover the other 95% of course costs. Our Apprenticeships team can help to guide you through this process in more detail.
4. Improve business performance
Developing your team’s skills can have an impact on all areas of business performance. In the government’s most recent Apprenticeship Evaluation Employers Report, 76% of employers surveyed said that apprenticeships had improved productivity and 74% said apprenticeships had improved product or service quality. 83% of employers said that they would recommend apprenticeships to others. Read the report to find out more.
5. Prepare your business to face the futureThe business landscape is changing fast, so it’s important to equip your team with the skills they’ll need to thrive in the coming years. The digital world in particular is constantly evolving, so developing your team’s skills in areas such as data analytics and cyber security could give you the edge you need to succeed in a competitive marketplace.
Apprenticeship programmes at Newcastle University
Newcastle University can provide apprenticeship programmes at levels 5, 6 and 7, depending on the needs of your business.
Our current apprenticeship programmes include:
- Level 7 Digital and Technology Solutions Specialist Integrated Degree
- Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship
- Level 7 Power Engineer Integrated Degree Apprenticeship
For more information, download our e-book on how businesses can benefit from apprenticeships. Alternatively, get in touch with our Apprenticeships team on the email address below to find out more about the options available.