The UK government is actively promoting higher apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships and this agenda has been gaining momentum amongst the various providers of apprenticeships. The purpose of this paper is to draw on an exploratory study on English further education (FE) colleges and highlight some of the key drivers of delivery, and possible challenges that can be faced by the providers in any expansion of this provision. Staff perceptions on the new apprenticeship standards are also presented in the paper.
This paper draws on a qualitative exploratory study with ten FE colleges in England. As part of the study, 19 in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with college staff and managers.
Higher apprenticeships have the potential to offer work-focussed alternatives to the conventional full-time degree models of higher education, however, the paper sheds light on a number of factors can limit the uptake of higher and degree apprenticeships.
The paper presents some practical challenges in developing higher apprenticeships and outlines some successful instances of higher apprenticeships which will be useful for those involved in the design and delivery of apprenticeships at FE colleges as well as at other providers.
This paper draws on research with FE colleges and will be of particular significance to FE colleges and universities that may consider delivering higher apprenticeships. The paper presents insights into institutional experiences and decision-making associated with higher and degree apprenticeships and, in doing so, the paper offers valuable contributions to the body of knowledge in this under-researched area.
The author is grateful to Madeleine King (then Co-ordinator of MEG) for her advice and support for this study.
Saraswat, A. (2016), "Higher apprenticeships and the new apprenticeship standards", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 401-416. https://doi.org/10.1108/HESWBL-06-2016-0042Download as .RIS
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