Guest blog by Not Going to Uni

In recent years, the whole dynamic of the relationship between apprenticeships and university has changed. The foundations of degree apprenticeships and the funding they have gained over the past few years has led to an exponential rise in participants. It’s a traditional view that university and apprenticeships have no relation, but this is no longer the case.

It’s often the case that a young person looking for a job will complain that they can't secure one due to 'lack of experience'. Can we blame them? Of course not! Companies want experienced and proven candidates, which is expected. This is where a degree apprenticeship breaks the cycle as it provides the young person with experience AND qualifications, everything they need to be hired for their future job.

About Degree Apprenticeships

A degree apprenticeship incorporates university and gaining a degree with acquiring experience in a working environment. This path gives you the ability to not only get a feel of working life but get a degree, debt free! A degree apprenticeship will typically last from one to six years to complete depending on the sector, role and company. Put simply, a degree apprenticeship gives a young person all they need to succeed in life and most importantly get an aspiring job they can progress in early on.

A big incentive for most is that the university tuition fees are paid by the apprenticeship employer and government respectively. As the apprentice, you will get paid as a normal apprentice would. A lot of young people, as well as employers, are seeing this as a great opportunity and a route they would like to go down, leading to a huge growth in popularity.

Degree Apprenticeships – The Appeal?

The learning and development aspect for a degree apprenticeship is identical to a normal apprenticeship. The apprentice will be required to work 30 hours a week for 30 weeks of the year. The skills gained from this are unlike any other opportunity as you have the opportunity to gain on-the-job experience, earn money and gain academic qualifications.

There has been a huge increase in apprenticeship participation as a whole, with a meteoric 282% increase in apprenticeship starts since 2000.

Apprenticeship completions have also risen 10% from 2016, highlighting the growth in popularity in apprenticeships. This has also been aided by the increase in tuition fees at universities, which makes getting paid whilst gaining experience more attractive. The rise in tuition fees also means the degree apprenticeship option is also made attractive as the apprentice is not having to pay fees for the university course.

Over a two year period, Not Going To Uni has seen a + 998.58% Increase of traffic to their degree apprenticeships opportunity page. NGTU is a website offering alternative options such as apprenticeships, gap years and gap years.

The Future of Education

The already exponentially growing market for degree apprenticeships is only set to continue to grow. Universities are also seeing the potential of scope and the possible positive impacts that they can gain as a result of offering degree apprenticeship places. Taking a simpler view of things, it offers a different dynamic to both the university aspect as well as the employer, not mentioning the opportunity for the apprentice.

As mentioned above, the number of universities taking on degree apprentices is increasing. Degree apprenticeships are still fairly new and therefore they have not reached their full potential in terms of participant numbers. However with the ever changing expectations this will hopefully change soon due to the exposure they are reaching. The alternative dynamic that a degree apprenticeship offers is enticing for young people as it gives them the necessary experience to attain a job as well as gaining qualifications to show academic competency.