Higher Apprenticeship Standards

Apprenticeship: Opportunities and
Challenges for Higher Education
Natasha Chopra, BIS
Adrian Anderson, CEO, UVAC
Higher Apprenticeships
• Update on developments – policy,
operational developments and funding
• Consider - whether to, where to (i.e.
occupations) and how to get involved
Apprenticeship Definition
‘An Apprenticeship is a job, in a skilled occupation,
that requires substantial and sustained training,
leading to the achievement of an Apprenticeship
standard and the development of transferable skills
to progress careers.’
Source: BIS/DfE
Apprenticeships are already highly successful…
• Apprenticeships are central to Government’s drive to give
people the skills employers need to grow and compete.
• Government’s planned investment in 2013-14 is over £1.5bn.
• Over 850,000 Apprenticeship participants in 2013/14, of
which 18,100 were Higher Apprentices
• Over 220,000 workplaces employ an apprentice.
…providing strong returns for all parties
• Learners: Advanced Level apprentices earn between £77,000
and £117,000 more over their lifetime than those with lower
level qualifications; this rises to £150,000 for those doing
Higher Apprenticeships.
• Employers: 70% report higher productivity and improved
quality of product/service.
• Economy: National Audit Office Report estimates that adult
Apprenticeships deliver £18 of economic benefits for each £1
of Government investment.
Higher Apprenticeships –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 announced
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
Higher Apprenticeships – the norm not a niche
“Higher apprenticeships are an important solution to the sub-degree gap, and there are
already some superb schemes, for which entry is as competitive as getting into
Cambridge... The kind of programme, including a sponsored degree, has huge advantages
both for employers (who gain staff with theoretical as well as practical knowledge tailored to
their specific needs) and for individuals (who gain a career-focused degree, earn good
money while they study and graduate free without student loans).
Previous governments did not support this route effectively. Higher apprenticeship funding
is difficult to claim and poorly administered. We are changing that by routing funding
directly to employers, enabling them to purchase training…apprenticeships can include full
undergraduate and masters degrees, funded through employer and government coinvestment.
This is an essential step to 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
cutting-edge practice into their degree programmes…”
Vince Cable, Cambridge Public Policy Lecture on the Future for HE & FE, April 2014
Higher Apprenticeships – key statistics
• Relatively new, huge growth (but slight dip in starts):
 9,200 starts in 2013/14 (9,800 in 2012/13)
 18,100 participants 2013/14 (13,000 in 2012/13)
 2,700 achievements in 2013/14 (1,600 in 2012/13)
• Around 50 Higher Apprenticeship frameworks
• 21 Higher Apprenticeship standards designed by employerled Trailblazers approved and published – 40% of
total…more to come
What are the main aims of the reforms?
Employer driven
Employers designing
apprenticeships to meet
their needs and having
more control of the
Replacing complex
frameworks with short,
simple standards written
by employers
Improving quality
through more rigorous
testing and grading at
end of apprenticeship
What changes are we making to Apprenticeships?
• Standards designed by employers, working with professional
bodies where relevant, will replace existing Frameworks
• New standards will be clear and concise, written by
employers and no more than a few pages’ long
• All Apprenticeships will last a minimum of 12 months
• All Apprenticeships will have an end-point assessment
• Apprenticeships will be graded for the first time
• Apprenticeships will meet relevant professional registration /
licence to practice requirements
What are we doing on assessment?
• Employer concerns that apprentices are able to pass
Apprenticeships but they do not judge them to be competent.
• All new apprenticeships will have an end-point assessment apprentice will be required to demonstrate competency across the
whole standard.
• End-point assessment will be synoptic – assessing skills and
knowledge in an integrated way – and will be graded.
• Trailblazers will set out their high level approach to the end-point
assessment –what, how and who should assess.
• Successful completion of an apprenticeship will require passing
pre-requisite qualifications, as stated on the standard, and passing
the end-point assessment.
Higher Apprenticeships developed by Trailblazers…
Approved and published so far:
Level 4:
Actuarial Technician, Construction technician, Conveyancing technician, Cyber intrusion
analyst, Dental practice manager, Digital media technology practitioner, Network engineer,
Professional accounting technician, Software developer, Software tester, Senior chef:
culinary arts
Level 5:
Dental Technician
Level 6:
Chartered legal executive, Control/Technical support engineer, Electrical/Electronic technical
support engineer, Manufacturing engineer, Product design & development engineer,
Licensed conveyance, Professional accountant, Relationship Manager (Banking)
Level 7:
Higher Apprenticeship funding…
• Following Budget 2014, funding model for frameworks is simpler for starts
from April 2014:
FE & HE Qualifications
Levels 4-6
Fully funded
Government co-invests with
No Government funding
No Government funding
• Funding apprenticeship standards – employer-routed funding to give them
greater control and purchasing power over apprenticeship training.
Trialling a simple funding approach in 2014/15:
 For every £1 that an employer invests in training an apprentice, the
Government will pay £2 up to a clear cap
 Extra funding will be provided to support small businesses with fewer than 50
staff, for apprentices aged 16-18 and for successful completion
AY14/15 Funding Model for Trailblazers
Core Government
Contribution (CGC) Cap - £2
for every £1 from employer
Cap 1
Cap 2
Cap 3
Recruiting a
16-18 year
For a small
business (<50)
For successful
Maximum total Government
Cap 4
Cap 5
UVAC – Our Role in Apprenticeship
• 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 HEIs to develop Apprenticeship strategies
• Asked by BIS to support Apprenticeship Trailblazers to engage HEIs and
‘Provider Readiness’ for the Apprenticeship Reforms (with AoC and
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 plan
• The content level including any qualifications
included or chosen would reflect the level assigned
to the standard
Apprenticeship – Issues for HE (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 (cont.)
• 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.
A University Partnership Approach to
Apprenticeship – A Way Forward
Start with employers, employer demand and work with partners
Explore SFA support (£20m) for prescribed HE qualifications in Higher
Apprenticeship frameworks– be aware of the changeover from Apprenticeship
frameworks to standards
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
A University Partnership Approach to
Apprenticeship – Some More Help
• A UVAC step by step approach for HEIs and partners
on how to engage with Apprenticeship – Jan 2015
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