Information for Employers

We want to work with you to develop high quality academic programmes to meet the future needs of your organisation. An apprenticeship is much more than just a job or a degree.

Degree Apprenticeships are a combined approach to vocational and higher education.

They give the employer the opportunity to develop staff through work based learning and university led teaching. The result is an apprentice who is proficient in the workplace and fully embedded in the culture of the organisation, as well as qualified to industry standard at Higher or Degree level.

An apprenticeship is a job that incorporates a package of training and skills development. This may include working towards a specific qualification that directly supplements the job role. The apprenticeship is job focussed i.e. an apprentice Registered Nurse, rather than qualification focussed. The ultimate aim is for the apprentice to be work ready to industry standard in the field of the apprenticeship title.

A degree apprentice will be employed (normally for at least 30 hours per week) whilst studying for a level 6 (degree) or level 7 (postgraduate) qualification. 

In combination, the learning the apprentice is undertaking on the job and through their studies will meet the knowledge, skills and behaviours outlined in the apprenticeship standard for their role, which has been developed by employers.

On successful completion of their apprenticeship, the learner will graduate with their degree and certification of their apprenticeship.

A Degree or Higher Apprenticeship is for anyone over the age of 16 who is in employment and looking to further their career by way of learning new skills and obtaining new qualifications. The apprentice must spent at least 50% of their time working in England over the duration of the apprenticeship and not in full time education. The apprenticeship is available for both new entrants to organisations as well as existing staff moving into new roles.

The apprenticeship will be made up of various elements including time spent actively working in the job role, at least 20% of the time engaged in off the job learning (this could be university academic study, placement activity or other forms of learning or experiences that aid the apprentice to succeed in their apprenticeship). The apprentice will complete their apprenticeship by passing an end point assessment that will be conducted by an independent third party known as an End-Point Assessment Organisation.

    • 86% of employers said that apprentices helped to develop relevant skills for the organisation, and to fill the skills gap. (National Apprenticeship Service, Employer Survey 2017)
    • 78% of employers say that apprentices improved the business productivity (National Apprenticeship Service, Employer Survey 2017)
    • 73% of employers say that staff morale is improved by having apprentices (National Apprenticeship Service, Employer Survey 2017)

As an employer engaging in Higher and Degree Apprenticeships you are participating in increasing diversity and widening participation. You will be playing your part in social mobility and widening the potential talent pool for your recruitment, selection and career opportunities.

As an employer of an apprentice you have certain responsibilities that you must abide by in order to meet both your legal obligation as well as meet the ESFA funding rules. Your responsibilities include, but are not exhaustive to the following:

  • You must offer the apprentice a contract for the duration of the apprenticeship
  • You must give the apprentice a minimum of 20% of their paid time as ‘off the job training’
  • You must have an apprentice agreement in place between you and the apprentice
  • You must meet the national apprenticeship pay rate or pay above
  • You must offer the apprentice the same employee benefits as other staff
  • You must agree an apprenticeship contract with your chosen training provider
  • You must give on the job training to your apprentice in order for them to become ready for the End Point Assessment and ultimately succeed in their apprenticeship
  • You will need to agree a commitment statement that will be signed by the employer, the apprentice and the training provider

Download the Apprenticeships Employer Handbook

Download the Apprenticeships Employer Handbook (3,031 KB)