Posted : 4 years1 months ago by mandy crawford-lee

Establishing and Communicating the Benefits of the CMDA and SLDA: UVAC Literature Review

Establishing and Communicating the Benefits of the CMDA and SLDA: UVAC Literature Review

As we are all increasingly aware, by 2022 the Apprenticeship levy pot is forecast to be overspent by £1.5bn.  Treasury officials are reviewing the levy operation and assessing the return on investment of the Apprenticeship programme and its contribution to the productivity agenda.  Additionally, the Secretary of State earlier this year asked the IfATE to bring forward a review of the Senior Leaders Degree Apprenticeship.  

In the broader Apprenticeship ‘industry’ and media there is considerable hostility to the use and growth of the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) and particularly the Senior Leader (Master’s) Degree Apprenticeship (SLDA).  Many (Ofsted, AELP, AoC, LWI, FSB as examples) argue that Apprenticeship levy funds should be focused on young people, the have-nots and be prioritised at lower levels.  

The SLDA is caricatured as an MBA programme used by investment bankers earning £100K.  In reality the situation is very different.  The deficit in management skills undoubtedly represents the biggest skills gap in the UK. Poor management skills are a key factor explaining the UK’s productivity gap.  As required by an Apprenticeship standard, a manager is a defined occupation with defined knowledge, skills and behaviours.  

If Apprenticeship is a productivity-focused programme about widening progression opportunities to key occupations then Management Apprenticeships have a fundamental role to play.  The case, however, needs to be made, evidence collected, benefits celebrated and myths refuted. 

In response to this move against the degree in management degree apprenticeships, UVAC has looked at the literature and produced a review of why the degree matters.


Focused on identifying and promoting the benefits of the CMDA and SLDA, UVAC is in the process of putting together a number of case studies to be published soon. For a discussion, contact [email protected]

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