‘The apprenticeship levy gives employers more flexibility’

Qube Learning’s CEO Joe Crossley spoke to editor Victoria Galligan about the organisation’s degree apprenticeships, which will launch in January 2019…

Could you outline the Apprenticeship Levy, and what it means for educators and for businesses?

The Apprenticeship Levy applies to businesses with an annual pay bill greater than £3million.  0.5% of the surplus is paid monthly into an employer’s levy pot and they can use this to pay for apprenticeship training. The levy has given employers more flexibility around who they work with, and what content is included around apprenticeship provision. The levy has introduced a lot of large employers into the market who may not have previously employed apprentices. I believe it has also driven up the quality of apprenticeship provision as the market is much more competitive.

Apprenticeships - a joiner

From a head’s point of view, why should schools and colleges be persuading pupils to opt for a degree apprenticeship?

Degree apprenticeships are a great alternative to traditional degrees as they enable students to undertake the degree whilst getting paid so there is very little need for loans. They are also built in partnership with employers who are offering a job at the end meaning successful students will progress straight into their career at the end of their apprenticeship.

The reputation of Apprenticeships sometimes puts off parents, teachers and pupils: what could you say to address concerns that a degree apprenticeship is not “as good as” a traditional degree?

Most of the degree apprenticeships are built by Universities, so they are delivered by the same tutors as traditional degrees, they are usually more hands-on so students learn the practical elements as well as the theories and principles during their degree whilst also receiving advice guidance and mentoring from colleagues who have many years of industry experience. Usually, degree apprenticeships are much more flexible, so students can fit it around their work pattern and attend remote sessions as well as face to face learning.  Finally, degree apprenticeships are focused on job outcomes, so the really great thing is most degree apprentices start work straight after their apprenticeship finishes.

For more information on degree apprenticeships, see qube-learning.co.uk