UVAC Literature Review: In Defence of the Degree

UVAC Literature Review: In Defence of the Degree

As we now are well 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 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 the IfATE’s review, UVAC has considered the literature in support of the degree in management degree apprenticeships with a view to focussing on identifying and promoting the benefits of the CMDA and SLDA.


For further discussion contact [email protected] or ring 07763820713.