Adrian Anderson, UVAC

Higher Apprenticeship: a policy
update and operational analysis
Adrian Anderson, CEO, UVAC
UVAC – Our Role
• Commissioned to support BIS/National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) on
the Consultation on the Criteria for Apprenticeship at Degree levels
• Advised BIS/NAS on the Revision to the Specification of Apprenticeships
Standards in England (SASE)
• Co-authored – Developing Quality Higher Apprenticeship Frameworks
for England – the guidance that underpins SASE
• Supported the development of the first Higher Apprenticeship to
incorporate a Foundation degree to recognise both the knowledge and
competence requirements of the framework
• Supporting several Trailblazers to engage HEIs and HEIs to develop
Apprenticeship strategies
• Currently - Asked by BIS to Support ‘Provider Readiness’ for the
Apprenticeship Reforms (with AoC and AELP)
Apprenticeship/Higher Apprenticeship –
Recent Timeline
Summer 2011 - Prime Minister announces Higher Apprenticeship Fund to support development of Higher
Apprenticeship frameworks
November 2012 - Richard Review published (remit includes Higher Apprenticeship)
April 2013 - Specification of Apprenticeship Frameworks in England revised to encompass Level 6 and 7
and HE qualifications at these levels
October 2013 – Prime Minister announces Apprenticeship reforms and first Trailblazers
Autumn Statement 2013 – £40m to fund 20,000 Higher Apprenticeship starts over 2 years
March 2014 - First round Trailblazer Apprenticeship standards published – and further Trailblazers
Budget 2014 – announced Government would fund HE within Higher Apprenticeships and provided £20m
additional funding for HE within Higher Apprenticeships over 2 years
May 2014 –Trailblazer funding model announced for 2014/15 starts
August 2014 - Second round Trailblazer Apprenticeship standards published
September 2014 - First Apprenticeship starts using new standards
November 2014 – Government announces new level 6 and 7 model where degree and apprenticeship are
fully integrated
2017/18 - All new Apprenticeship starts to be on standards
The Norm not the Niche
‘’..making higher apprenticeships the norm rather than a niche in
the overall skills programme – making it as plausible to complete
a degree via an apprenticeship as to go to university for 3 years.
This is a huge opportunity for universities, who think of their
customers in terms of employers as well as individuals. Doing so
can attract significant investment, as well as Introducing cuttingedge practice into their degree programmes…”
Vince Cable, Cambridge Public Policy Lecture on the Future for
HE & FE, April 2014
Post the 2015 General Election
• Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats Innovative new alternatives to traditional
bachelors and masters programmes
• Labour - Technical degrees, Institutes of
Technical Education, Technical universities
Apprenticeship Frameworks
• Apprenticeship frameworks were developed in accordance with the
Specification of Apprenticeship Standards in England
• SASE specified minimum credit values (90 at level 4/5 and 120 at level 6/7)
• HE, FE and Professional Qualifications could be specified as the
knowledge, competence or knowledge and competence qualification
• Around 50 Higher Apprenticeship frameworks available
• For details of frameworks see
• No new Higher Apprenticeship frameworks will be approved post August
Apprenticeship Standards – Proportion at
Different Levels – August 2014
Apprenticeship Standards at HE Level (1)
Professional Accounting Technician – level 4
Professional Accountant – level 6
Actuarial Technician – level 4
Automotive Control/Technical Support Engineer – level 6
Automotive Electrical/Electronic Technical Support Engineer – level 6
Automotive Manufacturing Engineer – level 6
Automotive Product Design and Development Engineer – level 6
Construction Technician – level 4
Conveyancing Technician – level 4
Licensed Conveyancer – level 6
For Apprenticeship standards, employer involved etc. see
Apprenticeship Standards at HE Level (2)
Dental Technician – level 5
Dental Practice Manager – level 4
Software Developer – level 4
Network Engineer – level 4
Software Tester – level 4
Cyber Intrusion Analyst – level 4
Digital Media Technology Practitioner – level 4
Relationship Manager (Banking) – level 6
Senior Chef: Culinary Arts – level 4
Chartered Legal Executive – level 6
Solicitor – level 7
For Apprenticeship standards, employer involved etc. see
Apprenticeship Standards (in development)
potentially at HE level
Adult Social Care Worker
Senior Adult Social Care Worker
Construction Manager
Digital Industries: Business Data, IT Practitioner, Unified
Financial Services: Investment Operations, Paraplanner, Workplace
Travel Manager
Life and Industrial Sciences
And trailblazer 3 announcements
HE Qualifications and Apprenticeship
• When a qualification is specified in the standard,
employers must use this qualification - outside this,
employers and providers can agree their preferred
route to achieving the learning/competency set out
in the standard and assessment strategy
• The content level including any qualifications
included or chosen would reflect the level assigned
to the standard
Apprenticeship – Issues for HE and HE in FE (1)
• Shift in Apprenticeship focus from predominately level 2 and 3
to level 3 and HE levels
• Apprenticeship is moving into core HE vocational territory
• The employer is in the ‘driving seat’ as the ‘standard setter’,
customer and actual purchaser of learning and accreditation
• The employer as customer vis-à-vis the individual,
transferable skills and progression/social mobility
• New funding system supports the use of prescribed HE
qualifications (and other provision)
Apprenticeship – Issues for HE and HE in FE
• Apprenticeship an ‘alternative’ to existing HE provision
• Apprenticeship ‘provision’ focused on those in work and
achieving the skills, knowledge and behaviours set out in
the Apprenticeship standard and assessment plan
• Competition and opportunities for collaboration with FECs,
Awarding Organisations, Professional Bodies to deliver
learning and accreditation to meet the requirements of a
‘national’ Apprenticeship standard
• Growing importance of technician levels 4 and 5 (areas of
recent decline in HEI provision)
• Change often results in winners and losers – responsiveness
to employer demand will be key
New Models of HE Delivery and New Entrants
to the ‘Skills System’
The new approach to Apprenticeship signifies some key developments
in the overall ‘skills system’ in particular:
• An emphasis on employer leadership and control
• New programmes and models of delivery based on employer
demand as alternatives to full-time three year bachelor degrees
• An opening up of the market and encouragement for new providers
to enter the market on the basis of employer demand
• Some breakdown in the divides between HE, FE and private training
• Growing importance in policy on technician levels 4 and 5
• The emphasis placed on LEPs is growing
• Interest in exploring how employers should make a greater
contribution to the cost of HE provision.
An HEI Partnership Approach to
Apprenticeship – A Way Forward
Start with employers, employer demand and work with partners
Explore SFA support for prescribed HE qualifications in Higher Apprenticeship
frameworks– be aware of the changeover from Apprenticeship frameworks to
Identify Apprenticeship Trailblazer occupations with which a university/partners
have synergy and where employer interest is or may be apparent
Liaise with Apprenticeship Trailblazers - use UVAC as an ‘introducer’
Raise Apprenticeship with HEFCE at a regional level
Liaise at a LEP level re. Apprenticeship frameworks and standards
Monitor the approaches of other HEIs and Awarding Organisations, Professional
Bodies, FE and private providers
An HEI Partnership Approach to
Apprenticeship – Some More Help
• A UVAC step by step approach for HEIs and partners
on how to engage with Apprenticeship – Jan/Feb
Apprenticeship frameworks, Apprenticeship standards,
assessment plans, funding, partnerships, progression,
professional registration, assessment, accreditation,
certification, case studies etc.
• HEI and partner briefings
• Policy updates, alerts to Trailblazer briefing events