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Higher and degree apprenticeship FAQs

An apprenticeship is a genuine job with a skills development programme which is assessed. It includes learning in the workplace and formal off-the-job training.  Apprenticeships benefit both employers and individuals.

There are over 750 different apprenticeship standards, which provide a framework for the learning outcomes gained.  These have been produced by groups of employers called ‘trailblazers’ and respond to identified industry skill needs.

Apprenticeships also offer an alternative route to gain recognised qualifications including degrees and chartered status qualifications.  The training is funded by the employer and/or government subsidies.  An apprentice’s salary is paid by the employer.

Further information:

Government guidance on employing an apprentice

Government apprenticeship support service

West Yorkshire Combined Authority apprenticeship guidance for employers

West Yorkshire higher education provider apprenticeship contacts [link to 2A]

An apprenticeship can help a business recruit new talent, have a positive impact on staff retention, develop existing staff and equip a business to respond to emerging and future needs. 

Research produced in 2021 found that on average apprenticeships (across all apprenticeship levels) generate a net benefit to business of approximately £2,496, in some cases significantly more. See the report produced by The St Martin’s Group in collaboration with City & Guilds and NCFE.

See apprenticeship benefits identified by the Governments apprenticeship service.

See our case studies from regional employers. [link to REF!!!!]

Apprenticeships last for at least 12 months, with some programmes e.g. degree programmes delivered over approximately between two to five years.  Apprenticeships are not a quick fix to address isolated skills needs.  They offer a business a comprehensive training solution, designed by employers, to support long term workforce skill needs.

What are the key steps?

  1. Identify skills gaps. What training is needed, what is already provided and how might this be combined within an apprenticeship?
  2. Review apprenticeship standards and levels. All of these can be found in the Government’s register of apprenticeship standards.
  3. Get advice from the Government’s apprenticeship service, West Yorkshire Combined Authority or an experienced apprenticeship provider. [Link to 2A]
  4. Look for a training provider. See our list of West Yorkshire higher and degree apprenticeship providers [link to 2A] or the Government’s register of providers.  Agree how the 20% minimum off-the-job-training will be delivered.
  5. Providers will support or manage the recruitment process (if needed). Think about whether recruitment approaches are inclusive and attractive to a wide pool of candidates.  The Sutton Trust provide employer guidance.  The University of Bradford has collaborated with partners to develop an inclusive employer toolkit.
  6. A contract of employment is a mandatory requirement.
  7. Work with the provider to develop the apprentice’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP). This is agreed between the provider, employer and apprentice. The provider will conduct an initial assessment with the apprentice.
  8. Agree an end point assessment organisation to assess the apprentices learning. The apprenticeship provider will be able to advise on this, but the choice is the employers.
  9. The apprenticeship commences. Supervision and mentoring should be provided by the employer.
  10. Work with the provider to determine when the apprentice is ready for their end point assessment.

Apprentices must be at least 16 years old.  There is no age limit.  The can be graduates or non-graduates, new or existing staff.  They must be individuals with the right to work in the UK.

Apprenticeships offer the opportunity to gain qualifications including: NVQs, HNCs, HNDs, Degrees and Masters’ Degrees, Chartered or Professional Status and specific industry qualifications.

Higher level or degree apprenticeships are the equivalent to the following qualification levels: Higher levels 4, 5, 6 and 7 – the equivalent to Foundation degrees and above and a Degree Apprenticeship is at level 6 and 7 – the equivalent to a Bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Quantity Surveying (Degree)

Leeds Beckett University

Building Surveying (Degree)

Leeds Beckett University

Building Services Engineering Technician (level 4)

Leeds College of Building

Construction Site Engineering Technician (level 4)

Leeds College of Building

Construction Site Engineering Technician (level 4)

Leeds College of Building

Construction Quantity Surveying Technician (level 4)

Leeds College of Building

Construction Design and Build Technician (level 4)

Leeds College of Building

Construction Site Supervisor (level 4)

Leeds College of Building

Building Services Engineering Technician (level 4)

Leeds College of Building

Chartered Surveyor - Real Estate and Property Management (Degree)

Leeds Beckett University

Chartered Town Planner (level 7)

Leeds Beckett University

Architect (level 7)

Leeds Beckett University

Software Developer (level 4)

Leeds City College

Calderdale College

Digital & Technology Solutions Professional

Leeds Beckett University

University of Leeds

Outside Broadcasting (Level 7)

University of Bradford

Network Engineer (level 4)

Leeds City College

Cyber Security Technician (level 4)

Calderdale College

Cyber Security Analyst (level 4)

Calderdale College

Information System Business Analyst (level 4)

Calderdale College

Digital Marketer (Degree)

Leeds Trinity University

Cyber Security Technical Professional Integrated Degree Apprenticeship

University Centre at Leeds City College

Digital and Technology Solutions Specialist

Leeds Beckett University

Digital & Technology Solutions Professional (Degree standard)

Calderdale College

Software Developer (level 4 standard

Calderdale College

Children, Young People & Families Manager

Leeds Trinity University

Children, Young People and Families Practitioner (level 4)

Leeds Trinity University

Healthcare Assistant Practitioner (level 5)

University Centre at Leeds City College

University of Leeds

FdSc Nursing Associate (level 5)

University of Bradford

Leeds Beckett University

University of Leeds

University of Huddersfield

Healthcare Science Practitioner

University of Bradford

​Laboratory Scientist (level 6)

University Centre, Leeds City College

Chemistry Degree Apprenticeship (level 6)

University of Bradford

Advanced Clinical Practice (level 7)

Leeds Beckett University

University of Huddersfield

University of Leeds

University of Bradford

Registered Nurse (Degree)

 

Leeds Beckett University

University of Leeds

Paramedic Science (Degree)

 

University of Huddersfield

Operating Department Practice (Degree)

 

University of Huddersfield

Nursing (Adult) (Degree)

University of Leeds

 

University of Huddersfield

Podiatry (Degree)

 

University of Huddersfield

Social Worker

Leeds Beckett University

Health Play Specialist (level 5)

University Centre, Leeds City College

Registered Nurse (Child) (level 6)

University of Huddersfield

Registered Nurse (Learning Disability) (level 6)

University of Huddersfield

Registered Nurse (Mental Health) (level 6)

University of Huddersfield

Registered Nurse (Degree Apprenticeship) (Blended Learning) Adult (Degree)

University of Huddersfield

Registered Nurse (Degree Apprenticeship) (Blended Learning) Child (Degree)

University of Huddersfield

Registered Nurse (Degree Apprenticeship) (Blended Learning) Learning Disability (Degree)

University of Huddersfield

Registered Nurse (Degree Apprenticeship) (Blended Learning) Mental Health (Degree)

University of Huddersfield

Midwifery (level 6)

University of Huddersfield

Occupational Therapist (level 6)


University of Huddersfield

Physiotherapist (level 6)

University of Huddersfield

Environmental Health Practitioner (level 6)

Leeds Beckett University

Senior Health Care Support Worker

Calderdale College

Leader in Adult Care (level 5 standard)

Calderdale College

Lead Practitioner in Adult Care (level 4 standard)

Calderdale College

Master of Podiatric Surgery (Advanced Clinical Practice Apprenticeship) (level 7)

University of Huddersfield

Engineering Manufacturing Technician (level 4)

University Centre at Leeds City College

Building Services Engineering - Design Engineer (Degree)

Leeds Beckett University

Civil Engineering - Design Engineer (Degree)

Leeds Beckett University

Engineering Manufacture (level 4)

University Centre at Wakefield College

Building Services Engineering - Site Management (Degree)

Leeds Beckett University

Civil Engineering - Site Management (Degree)

Leeds Beckett University 

Construction Site Engineering Technician (level 4)

Leeds College of Building 

University Centre at Wakefield College

Building Services Engineering Technician (level 4)

Leeds College of Building 

Civil Engineering Site Management (level 6 - block release)

Leeds College of Building 

Children, Young People & Families Manager (level 5)

Leeds Trinity University

Children, Young People & Families Practitioner (level 4)

Leeds Trinity University

Calderdale College

Teacher (level 6)

Leeds Trinity University

University of Huddersfield

Learning and Skills Teacher (level 5)

University Centre at Leeds City College

Teacher (with QTS) (level 6)

University Centre at Leeds City College

Teacher (level 5)

Bradford College

Children Young People and Practitioners (level 4)

Calderdale College

Health & Social Care and Young People's Service (level 5)

Calderdale College

Chartered Manager (Degree)

University Centre at Leeds City College

Leeds Beckett University

Leeds Trinity University

University of Bradford

University of Leeds

Calderdale College

Leadership and Management (level 5)

Kirklees College

University Centre at Wakefield College

Operations / Departmental Manager (level 5)

University Centre at Leeds City College

University Centre at Wakefield College

Calderdale College

Bradford College

Senior Leader (level 7)

Leeds Beckett University

University of Leeds

Leeds Trinity University

University of Bradford

Supply Chain Leadership Professional (Degree)

Leeds Trinity University

Business to Business Sales Professional (Degree)

Leeds Trinity University

Human Resource Consultant/Partner (level 5)

University Centre at Wakefield College

Calderdale College


University Centre at Leeds City College


Leadership for Health & Social Care & Children & Young People's Services (level 5)

Calderdale College

Associate Project Manager (level 4)

Calderdale College

Bradford College

Project Manager (Degree)

Leeds Beckett University

Business Administration (level 4)

Calderdale College

Schools Business Manager (level 4)

Calderdale College

Professional Accountant (level 4)

Calderdale College

Professional Accounting Taxation Technician (level 4)

University Centre at Wakefield College

University Centre at Leeds City College

Business with Supply Chain Management Professional (Degree)

University of Huddersfield

Chartered Legal Executive (level 6)

University Centre at Leeds City College

Commercial Procurement and Supply (formally public sector commercial professional) (level 4)

University Centre at Leeds City College

Research Scientist (level 7)

University Centre at Leeds City College

ILM Management and Leadership (level 5)

Bradford College

Operations/Departmental Manager (level 5 standard)

Calderdale College

Operations/Future Leaders (level 5 standard)

Calderdale College

Project Management (level 4 standard)

Calderdale College

Professional Accounting Technician (level 4 standard)

Calderdale College

HR Consultant / Partner (level 5 standard)

Calderdale College

Chartered Management (degree standard)

Calderdale College

Social Worker

University Centre at Leeds City College

Early Years Lead Practitioner (level 5)

University Centre at Leeds City College

Leader in Adult Care (level 5)

University Centre at Leeds City College

Senior Leader (level 7)

Leeds Trinity University

Construction Quantity Surveyor

Leeds Beckett University 

Leeds College of Building

Leeds College of Building

Construction Site Management

Leeds Beckett University 

Leeds College of Building

Construction Design Manager

Leeds Beckett University 

Leeds College of Building

Civil Engineering

Leeds College of Building

Building Services Engineering

Leeds College of Building

Police Constable

Leeds Trinity University

Academic Professional (level 7)

Leeds Trinity University

Children, Young People & Families Manager (level 5)

University Centre at Leeds City College

Learning and Skills Teacher (level 5)

University Centre at Wakefield College

Digital & Technology Solutions Professional (Degree)

Calderdale College

The following page has details for apprenticeship teams within West Yorkshire higher education providers.

[link to 2A]

You can also view the Governments register of apprenticeship providers.

This information is useful to obtain:

  • Previous experience and achievements with apprenticeship provision.
  • Their understanding of your sector and the roles you want to develop.
  • The experience of their trainers.
  • How the training would be delivered and what sort of learner experience would be offered.
  • The hard and soft skills gained as a result of the training.
  • The cost (including VAT and exam fees where applicable) and time period for invoicing for any employer contribution.
  • Additional training available to the apprentice (over and above the standard) or appropriate for other staff members.

Discuss your skills needs in detail with the provider.  Mention all the qualifications you would like your apprentice(s) to achieve.  This will enable the provider to develop a programme that responds to your needs

Training may be delivered as block release, online, completed at the place of work or a blend of these approaches.

Within some models, referred to as ‘front loaded apprenticeships’, the off-the-job-training may be delivered in bulk at the start of the apprenticeship.

Employers are expected to:

  • Pay the apprentices salary, at least minimum wage. Ideally this should be aligned to sector salaries for similar roles.
  • Pay the apprentices training costs. In most cases this will be 5% with government subsidies covering remaining costs.  You will be invoiced for your 5% contribution by your training provider. The apprentice must not be asked to contribute towards the training cost.
  • Commit to support the apprentice for the full apprenticeship term
  • Work in partnership with the training provider
  • Give the apprentice at least 20% of paid time in off-the-job training
  • Provide a mentor and line manager to the apprentice

Businesses with an annual wage bill of over £3 million will pay the apprenticeship levy.  This is used for training and upskilling staff.  Businesses who do not pat an apprenticeship levy and have over 50 employees can get 95% of the apprenticeship costs funded by the government. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees can get 100% of the apprenticeship costs for 16-18 year olds funded by the government and 95% funded for 19+ year olds.  Maximum Funding levels vary from £3,000 to £27,000 depending on the complexity of the training.

The apprentice must not be asked to contribute towards the training cost.

The employer and the main provider can receive additional funding if the apprentice is either aged 16-18, or are 19-24 with either an Education & Health Care Plan (to support a disability) or has been in the care of the local authority.  Eligible apprentices will be entitled to a £1,000 payment to both the employer and main provider.

Government apprenticeship funding rules.

The Student Loan system, used within the traditional degree route, is not available to apprentices.

An apprentice who is under 25 and has been in local authority care can access a Government bursary of £1000.  This is claimed by the training provider and then transferred to the apprentice in full.

Learning Support Funding is available to make reasonable adjustments to support a disabled learner.  This is provided by the Education and Skills Funding Agency.  This is paid to the training provider.

Government funding rules.

Larger businesses (with an annual turnover of over £3 million) pay an Apprenticeship Levy. This was implemented by the Government to encourage large businesses to employ and train staff using apprenticeships. The levy also generates funds to subsidise the cost of apprenticeship training for smaller businesses.

Levy-paying organisations are able to transfer up to 25% of their unspent levy funds to other businesses. The West Yorkshire Combined Authority provide levy transfer support to businesses wishing to transfer their levy or smaller businesses who would like to benefit from a levy transfer.

The employer is responsible for recruiting the apprentice.  Providers will generally support or manage the recruitment process (where needed).  Think about whether recruitment approaches are inclusive and attractive to a wide pool of candidates. 

For further support see the Sutton Trust’s employer’s guide to Social Mobility in the Workplace. The University of Bradford has also collaborated with partners to develop an inclusive employer toolkit.

Typical start dates are September/October or January/February, but some providers offer rolling programmes and alternative start dates.  It is best to start discussing the opportunity as early as possible to provide sufficient time for the apprenticeship processes to be fulfilled.

An apprenticeship can be used to upskill existing staff of any age, as long as the apprenticeship is giving them new skills to achieve competence in their chosen occupation.  Someone with an existing degree can complete degree apprenticeship as long as this provides them with new or significantly different skills.

An employer can apply to become a training provider themselves, see Government guidance.  Typically, this is employers with at least 1000 staff, a HR department and the staff and budget to invest in this approach.  As a provider you will be subject to inspections by Government agencies to check the quality of delivery.  Working with an existing provider is a good first step in building your confidence with the apprenticeship approach.

GHWY has a bank of case studies from employers, including employers who have already benefited from the apprenticeship experience:

View our case studies [link]










Contact GHWY to find out how to share a case study celebrating your apprenticeship success.

 

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