Dr Mandy Crawford-Lee
Chief Executive, UVAC
To upskill employees and encourage career progression, three innovative and high-quality technical and professional programmes can lead people on the right path.
A degree apprenticeship represents the best of both worlds. Apprentices gain a degree and complete an apprenticeship at the same time. Degree apprentices are employed and paid a salary from day one.
Funding for professional qualifications and degree apprenticeships
The training and assessment costs of the degree apprenticeship are paid for by the Government with, in some cases, an employer also making a financial contribution. As such, degree apprentices have their tuition fees paid for them, meaning no student loan or graduate debt.
The degree is used to deliver the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to complete the apprenticeship and become occupationally competent in a defined graduate job.
Degree apprenticeships have been developed for a wide range of professional roles and occupations. Over 100 universities, including 17 Russell Group universities, offer degree apprenticeships in England. They are available to both young people entering the workforce and existing employees.
Is there a downside to a degree apprenticeship?
An individual starting a degree apprenticeship must be committed to the occupation or profession the apprenticeship is preparing them for and to the employer supporting them through the apprenticeship. An individual is also combining full-time work with studying for a degree. Competition for degree apprenticeship places can be intense.
Degree apprenticeships have been developed for a
wide range of professional roles and occupations.
Specific skills for a specific sector with HTQs
Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs) are a new brand of levels 4 and 5 technical qualifications, equivalent respectively to the first or second year of university undergraduate study. HTQs are approved by the Government-backed Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, as delivering the knowledge and skills needed in an industry sector. As such, they deliver the skills employers say they need.
They are a good choice for individuals seeking employment in a particular sector or for existing employees wanting to develop their skills. HTQs are currently available in digital occupations. They will be available in construction and health and science from September 2023 and in a wide range of sectors by 2025.
T Levels for industry familiarity
T Levels are a new high-quality technical alternative to A Levels. T levels develop the skills students need to enter skilled employment, apprenticeships and crucially, from a UVAC perspective, higher education.
By including an in-depth industry placement, individuals get excellent workplace experience, and employers can get to know potential new employees. T Levels are available in a wide range of subject areas.
Together, these technical pathways can deliver not only choice but the skills individuals, employers and the country need.