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Why study an apprenticeship?
What are the benefits of Degree Apprenticeships?
This model has a number of advantages for employers, prospective apprentices, and universities:
- Employers can attract new talent, particularly high calibre school-leavers, who are keen to earn a degree in a work-based environment. It will allow them to acquire the graduate/postgraduate level skills they need, where the training costs, including the degree, are co-funded by Government
- The apprentice, like any other apprentice, must be employed and paid a wage throughout, will gain a full degree (bachelor’s or master’s) without incurring student fees or taking on a loan, and gain a head-start into their chosen profession compared with many of their counterparts – a highly attractive offer
- Universities can strengthen links with local employers and offer more degree programmes that meet employer needs and are accredited by professional bodies, while also having a new product to offer to prospective applicants (possibly from more diverse backgrounds than their full-time intake).
How do they differ from sandwich degrees and work placements?
These build on the existing models of sandwich degrees (with students spending a year in industry) or work placements (with students doing industry placements in term time or holidays), but are different in several important ways:
- Degree Apprentices are employed throughout and doing paid work from day one; and indeed employers may view them as a way of recruiting top prospective graduates
- Degree Apprentices are likely to have greater attachment to their employer and indeed already being employed are much more likely to stay on afterwards. Retention rates for apprentices post-completion typically exceed 80%
- In cases where a new degree is developed, employers will be able to work with universities to shape the overall degree programme and all aspects of the apprentice’s training.