Press release

Government rolls-out flagship Degree Apprenticeships

The government has today (12 March 2015) announced the roll-out of 9 new industry designed Degree Apprenticeships.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The government has today (12 March 2015) announced the roll-out of 9 new industry designed Degree Apprenticeships - an innovative new model bringing together the best of higher and vocational education.

Degree Apprenticeships will be offered in key areas including, Chartered Surveying, Aerospace Engineering, and Nuclear.

Groups of businesses, universities and colleges will develop practical, vocational degree courses which will allow people to combine both the academic study from a traditional university degree and the practical experience and wider employment skills vital for career success.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

Equipping people with the skills they need to get on in life and backing businesses to create jobs are key parts of our long-term economic plan. Degree Apprenticeships will give people a great head start, combining a full degree with the real practical skills gained in work and the financial security of a regular pay packet. They will bring the world of business and the world of education closer together, and let us build the high-level technical skills needed for the jobs of the future. I want to see many more businesses and universities begin to offer them.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

Degree Apprenticeships will bring together the very best of higher and vocational education, and allow apprentices to achieve a full bachelor’s or master’s degree, whilst training on the job.

With more than 2.1 million apprenticeships created since 2010, these innovative qualifications combine academic and practical training to provide new and attractive routes in to work. Backed by industry and our top education institutions, they will help ensure we meet the skills gap and give people across the country the chance of a great start to their working lives.

Apprentices will split their time between university study and the workplace and will be employed throughout – gaining a full bachelor’s or master’s degree from a top university while earning a wage and getting real on-the-job experience in their chosen profession.

Higher Apprentices are already able study to degree level as part of their apprenticeship but Degree Apprenticeships will go further. They will involve a degree as an integral part of the apprenticeship, co-designed by employers to make sure it is relevant for the skills industry is looking for.

As with other apprenticeships, the cost of course fees are shared between government and employers, meaning that the apprentice can earn a full bachelors or even masters degree without paying any fees. As well as being suitable for school leavers as an alternative route to gaining a degree, the new qualifications are expected to strengthen the vocational pathway and be suitable for existing apprentices looking to progress in their career.

Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive of EEF said:

Fast-moving, evolving sectors such as manufacturing increasingly demand higher-level skills. These economically valuable industries can only grow and prosper if highly-skilled employees are there for the taking.

There has been a noticeable gap in higher-level provision that combines both vocational and academic learning, and degree apprenticeships are the opportunity to fill this gap. For employers and learners alike, degree apprenticeships are a good step forward. Learners earn while they learn to a degree level and employers have access to relevant, responsive, highly-skilled employees.

This is an opportunity not to be missed and we urge employers to step up to the plate and work with us to shape this agenda.

Maddalaine Ansell, Chief Executive of University Alliance, said:

We welcome the introduction of Degree Apprenticeships. They will offer young people another accessible and attractive way to unlock their talent, and ensure the UK has the high-skilled workforce it needs to drive growth and innovation in our economy.

Alliance universities, which have a particular focus on delivering excellent courses in partnership with industry and the professions, are well placed to help develop and implement degree apprenticeships due to their strengths in subject areas closely linked to the needs of the economy such as engineering, design and digital industries. Working effectively with partners is part of our universities’ DNA and we have dynamic and strong relationships with a wide range of education providers and employers. University Alliance is committed to playing an active role in developing and delivering Degree Apprenticeships.

Howard Simms, Founder of Apadmi, an SME taking part in the Degree Apprenticeship in Digital said:

Degree Apprenticeships are an excellent initiative. From a small employer’s viewpoint they provide access to bright, keen talent at an earlier age. From a student’s viewpoint they will gain a degree, learn skills directly relevant to employment, and avoid significant debt, as they will be earning a wage. It’s a win-win scenario.

Employers and educators have backed this innovative new model, with more than 100 companies working with more than 20 universities across the country to develop the programme so far. Degree Apprenticeships are expected to be suitable for both small and large businesses, and SMEs involved in the programme so far have said how it could give them better access to graduate-level talent.

Notes to editors

1.The 9 Degree Apprenticeships being announced today are in:

  • Chartered Surveying
  • Electronic Systems Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Aerospace Software Development
  • Defence Systems Engineering
  • Laboratory Science
  • Nuclear
  • Power Systems
  • Public Relations.

Places will be available from this September.

Places are also being advertised for starts this September on the Degree Apprenticeships already developed in:

  • Digital
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Banking Relationship Manager
  • Construction

2.Degree Apprenticeships will follow the Apprenticeship Trailblazer funding model which government is currently trialling. As part of this trial, government is contributing two thirds of the total cost of the degree course and any external training and assessment, up to a cap, with employers contributing the other third; then there is an additional incentive for small businesses. As with other apprenticeships, apprentices themselves do not pay for training costs or student fees.

3.The government is forming a board of leading business, university, and college groups to oversee the new programme as it rolls out, including representatives from the CBI, FSB, EEF, Universities UK, University Alliance, Russell Group and the Association of Colleges.

4.The government contribution to the cost of Degree Apprenticeships will be met from the Apprenticeships budget.

5.Alongside the new Degree Apprenticeships, BIS is also publishing 49 other new apprenticeship standards today, developed by more than 500 employers, in occupations including Healthcare Assistant Practitioner, and Chef. This round of ‘trailblazers’ are the latest addition to more than 80 trailblazer standards that have already been defined. They are part of the government’s plan to improve the quality of apprenticeships and put employers in the driving seat. For a full list of standards approved so far see‘Apprenticeship standards and for a full list of standards in development see ‘Apprenticeship standards in development.

6.Employers involved in Degree Apprenticeships are:

Electronic systems engineering – Embedded Systems Development Engineer

Renishaw, Embecosm, Frontier Silicon, Sensium Healthcare, Toumaz, Imagination Technologies, Schneider Electric, BAE Systems, Thales, FlexEnable, Emerson Process Management, Measurement Technology, Automated Technology Group, Selex ES, ARM, ESCO, Electronics Yorkshire, GAMBICA, NMI

Surveying – Chartered Surveyor

Gardiner and Theobald, Axis, DTZ, Faithorn Farrell Timms, DSB Construction Consultants, Valuation Office Agency, Transport for London, EC Harris, Martin Arnold Associates, Collier & Madge, CBRE, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, London Southbank University, Birmingham City University

Life and Industrial Sciences – Laboratory Scientist

Actavis, Aesica Pharmaceuticals, Astra Zeneca, BCM, Essar, Fujifilm Diosynth, Biotechnologies, GSK, Ineos, Lotte Chemical UK, Lucite, Medimmune, Pfizer Inc, SABIC UK Petrochemicals, Sellafield, Sembcorp, Seralab, Synergy Outsourcing, Victrex, Broughton Laboratories, Centre for Process Innovation, Royal Society of Chemistry, Society of Biology, JayTee, Centre for Process Innovation, Greenwich University, Kent University, Manchester Metropolitan University

Defence – Advanced Systems Engineer

Atkins, Altran, BAE Systems, Cobham, General Dynamics, Marshall, MBDA, MoD DE&S, MoD Dstl, MooD International, QinetiQ, Raytheon, Rolls-Royce, Selex ES, Serco and Thales, Cranfield, University College London, Bristol University, Loughborough University

Aerospace – Aerospace Engineer and Aerospace Software Engineer

BAE Systems, Airbus, Rolls Royce, GE Aviation Power & Systems, GKN Aerospace, Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, Augusta Westland Ltd, Magellan Aerospace (UK) Ltd, GTA England, Lancaster University, Blackpool and Fylde College, University of Central Lancashire


Sellafield, BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, Atkins, Ultra Electronics, Jacobs, Westinghouse Springfields, UK Atomic Energy Authority, Ministry of Defence, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Office for Nuclear Regulation, Magnox Ltd, Research Sites Restoration Ltd, Low Level Waste Repository, EDF Energy, National Skills Academy for Nuclear, National Nuclear Laboratory, Bristol University, Manchester University – Dalton Institute

Power Engineering

Amey, National Grid, UK Power Networks, E.ON ,Freedom, Electricity North West, SSE, Siemens, EDF Energy, Alstom, Scottish Power, Northern Powergrid, Energy & Utility Skills, The Engineering Council, Coventry University

Public Relations

Claremont, On Broadcast, Talk PR, KOR Communications Ltd, Salix Consulting, Golin, PRCA, Taste PR, Tala PR, Storm PR

Digital Industries – Technology Solutions Professional

Accenture, Bright Future, BT, CapGemini, CGI, Ford, Fujitsu, GSK, HMRC, HP, IBM, John Lewis, Lloyds Banking Group, Network Rail, Tata Consulting Services, Apadmi, Tech Partnership, Aston University, Exeter University, Greenwich University, Loughborough University, Manchester Metropolitan University, University College London, University of the West of England, Winchester University


Aggregate Industries UK Ltd, AK Lighting & Signs, Amey L G Limited, Anderson & Heeley Ltd, BAM Construct UK Ltd, Balfour Beatty, BAM Nuttall, Bouygues E & S Infrastructure UK Ltd, Byrne Bros (Formwork) Limited, C J Bayliss (Hereford) Ltd, Cable Test Ltd, Carillion Civil Engineering, Centre Great Ltd, Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists, Chartered Management Institute, Civil Engineering Contractors Association, Clugston Construction Ltd, Connect Plus, Costain Ltd, E & JW Glendinning Ltd, Electrical Testing Ltd, E-ON Energy Solutions Ltd, Galliford Try Services Ltd, GM Briton (Public Works Ltd), H & H Joiners and Builders Ltd, Herefordshire Council, Highway Electrical Association (HEA), i-Civils Ltd, Imtech Traffic & Infra UK Ltd, Institute of Highway Engineers, Institution of Civil Engineers, Interserve Construction Ltd, K&M McLoughlin Decorating Ltd, Kennford Tarmacadam Limited, Kier Ltd, Lovell Partnerships Ltd, Mineral Products Qualifications Council, Morgan Sindall plc, NG Bailey Ltd, Road Maintenance Services Ltd, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Seddon Construction Ltd, Skanska Construction Ltd, South West Highways Ltd, SSE Contracting Ltd, The Chartered Institute of Building, The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, The Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation, The Institution of Engineering & Technology, VolkerWessels UK Ltd, Willmott Dixon Holdings Ltd , Southampton Solent University, London South Bank University, University of the West of England, Gateshead College, Oaklands College, Liverpool John Moores University, Leeds College of Building, Birmingham City University, College of Estate Management, Stephenson College, Anglia Ruskin University, University of Derby

Financial Services – Banking Relationship Manager

Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS, Santander


BMW Group UK, EEF, Ford, GTA England, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Jaguar Land Rover, NFEC, Siemens, Toyota Manufacturing UK, Vauxhall Motors

7.National Apprenticeship Week 9 to 13 March 2015 #NAW2015 and #GetInGoFar

Published 12 March 2015