Degree Apprenticeships: Impacts, Challenges and Future Opportunities

Degree Apprenticeships: Impacts, Challenges and Future Opportunities

The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017 has provided a stimulus that has disrupted the ways in which universities and businesses approach the development of graduate talent. Drawing on interviews with members of the National Centre, this report considers the emerging effects that the introduction of the Levy is having on employer and provider practices including addressing and promoting social mobility.


The introduction of the Levy and the push to significantly increase apprentice levels has significantly disrupted the system and the interactions and interplays between employers and providers have invariably changed. Expectations have altered and we are entering a period of readjustment where both sides need to develop realistic expectations of the other.

Degree Apprenticeships present an opportunity to redefine the parameters of talent co-creation between universities and businesses.

Whilst it is important to acknowledge the impacts and challenges brought about by the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy – for a number of employers and providers it is opening up new collaborations, deepening existing partnerships and encouraging new innovations and approaches.

The report is broken down into three sections:

► The impacts of the Levy on both the talent strategies of employers as well as efforts to deliver social mobility aspirations

► Emerging challenges that are preventing the positive impacts of the Levy from being realised

Opportunities that our members hope might be achieved in the future as the Levy beds in and the landscape settles.

“The shake up in the apprenticeship world is creating this knock-on into the graduate world. It is driving the change. If we hadn’t had the Levy arrive, we probably would still continue our old methodology. It’s the arrival of the Levy that is creating the challenge in the apprenticeship world, which has enforced us to reflect on where the graduate programme is going.”  National Centre employer

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Author: The National Centre for Universities and Business

Publication: 12 March 2018

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