Apprenticeship Research Cluster (ARC)

For centuries apprenticeships were the recognised form of training for skilled workers and were codified in the Statute of Artificers of 1563, which regulated entry to crafts through the seven-year apprenticeship. The Statute had sway until the 20th century, when the Industrial Training Boards, further education colleges, and then universities began to provide new forms of vocational education and training.

The 21st Century has seen a shift towards employer-led apprenticeships as the best form of training for skilled work, and the UK Conservative government has set a target of three million new apprenticeships, particularly promoting higher apprenticeships. The University of Derby has undertaken a major research study of employers’ experiences of higher apprenticeships (Report) and other apprenticeship studies are underway. In particular we are interested in exploring several research questions:

  • What are the benefits and barriers to apprenticeships?
  • What impact are policy makers having on existing provision?
  • How effective are employer-led apprenticeship models?
  • How do apprenticeships systems compare internationally?
  • How effective is teaching and learning on apprenticeship programmes?
  • What assessment mechanisms are used?
  • What support and guidance do apprentices require?

We welcome individual, corporate and education links and partnerships in our research. For further information please contact the ARC lead, Ruth Mieschbuehler at or 01332 592919.

ARC lead

Members of ARC include

  • Dr Lynn Senior, the Dean of College of Education, University of Derby
  • Peter Revill, Senior Lecturer in Work-based Teaching and Learning, University of Derby
  • Jane Lowe, Apprenticeship Manager, University of Derby
  • Liz Parsonson, Business and Partnerships Officer, Buxton and Leek College
  • Bally Bhogal, Higher Apprenticeship Project Manager, Pera Training
  • Dr Ludger Deitmer, Institut Technik und Bildung (ITB), University of Bremen, Germany
  • Prof Phillip Toner, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, University of Sydney, Australia


Mieschbuehler, R. and Hooley, T. (2016) World-Class Apprenticeship Standards: Report and Recommendations, Derby: International Centre for Guidance Studies, University of Derby. (World-Class Apprenticeship Standards: Report and Recommendations)

Mieschbuehler, R., Hooley, T. and Neary, S. (2015) Employers’ Experience of Higher Apprenticeships: Benefits and Barriers, Derby and Melton Mowbray: International Centre for Guidance Studies, University of Derby and Pera Training. (Employers' Experience of Higher Apprenticeships: Benefits and Barriers).