Michelle Donelan, in her evidence to the education select committee in November 2021 was clear that the Government wants to introduce some form of incentives to encourage universities to offer degree apprenticeships. This was followed in late November by her direction for universities to set ambitious targets to boost the proportion of students studying degree apprenticeships, demanding them to rewrite their plans around access and participation to reduce drop-out rates with ‘tough’ goals in the take up of higher technical qualifications and part-time courses. Education Select Committee chair Robert Halfon has challenged the Minister to set a target of having 50 per cent of students doing degree apprenticeships.
The DfE in its response said the ’reboot’ of universities access and participation plans will play a ‘key role’ in the government’s levelling up agenda. This will be the first task for John Blake who has been appointed as the new director for fair access and participation at OfS. We may need to revisit the conversation with OfS in late 2020 about our proposal to align approaches to skills, technical education, apprenticeships, and adult skills provision that maximise impact and the delivery of measurable access and participation plan outcomes. See our proposal HERE.
UVAC published a response in FE Week detailing five actions the minister could easily take, without getting the cheque book out that would increase the number of Degree Apprenticeship places and the number of universities engaged in delivering provision. One of the actions was developing a Degree Apprenticeship Growth Plan – IfATE working with Trailblazers and the HE sector through UVAC should develop a Degree Apprenticeship Growth Plan.
Such a Growth Plan, focused on skills needs and the Net Zero and Levelling Up agendas, would identify where there was the most need and potential to deliver Degree Apprenticeship. The IfATE could then work with employers and universities to bust barriers that were restricting the growth of Degree Apprenticeships. See attached our DRAFT Plan HERE. If you wish to give feedback on any aspect of this plan then contact [email protected].Higher-and-Degree-Apprenticeship-and-Higher-Technical-Education-Growth-Plan