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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Darryll Bravenboer

The purpose of this paper is to contend that collaboration between employers and universities in the design and delivery of programmes of work-based study is an effective…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contend that collaboration between employers and universities in the design and delivery of programmes of work-based study is an effective way to align the higher-level skills needs of employers with the aspirations of individuals who wish to gain university qualifications in the workplace. In mapping the fluctuations of UK higher-level skills policy through workforce development to degree apprenticeships it is argued that the facility for employers and universities to co-design and develop degree apprenticeship standards should be extended to the development of Higher Apprenticeships in England.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides an analysis of a broad range of higher education (HE) skills related UK policy documents to map the fluctuations in policy that underpin the opportunities for employers and universities to collaborate in the design and delivery of HE programmes in England, including degree apprenticeships.

Findings

It is noted that the approach to collaborative employer-university development signalled for degree apprenticeships described in policy documents unhelpfully perpetuates the presumed distinction between “academic learning” and “on the job training”. However, it is also concluded that despite this, the rationale for co-design and delivery should equally apply to the development of all higher apprenticeships to ensure that the expertise that universities can bring in designing and assessing higher-level learning is not unnecessarily excluded from the process.

Originality/value

This paper provides value through its analysis of how the fluctuations of HE and skills policy has affected the basis upon which employers and universities can collaborate in the design and delivery of work-based HE including higher and degree apprenticeships in England. It also seeks to inform HE policy and practice in the development of employer-responsive provision.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Steve Lambert

In 2015 the Conservative led government announced their plan to increase the number of young people participating in apprenticeship to three million by 2020. As part of…

Abstract

Purpose

In 2015 the Conservative led government announced their plan to increase the number of young people participating in apprenticeship to three million by 2020. As part of this plan there is to be an expansion of the number of degree-level apprenticeships, with the government suggesting that these should be seen as a real alternative to university. Despite the government’s propaganda of an alternative to university, higher education institutions have a pivotal role to play in both the development and delivery of degree-level apprenticeships. However, the accountability for the success of degree-level apprenticeships remains unclear. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides an analysis of current notions of outcome-based accountability contextualised through the degree apprenticeship programme.

Findings

The paper illustrates that outcome-based accountability frameworks do little to support the delivery of degree-level apprenticeships. Instead there needs to be a shift to a holistic approach to accountability where student success form just one element of an accountability framework. It concludes that current accountability frameworks may result in an unnecessary confusion around the roles and responsibilities of individual actors associated with degree apprenticeship delivery resulting in a missed opportunity to maximise the value arising from the tri-partite delivery relationship.

Originality/value

This paper provides an original perspective involving accountability associated with degree apprenticeship programmes in the UK.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 July 2020

Finbar Lillis and Angelo Varetto

The purpose of this paper is to show how and why government discoursal constraints have obstructed the development of viable degree apprenticeships for regulated…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show how and why government discoursal constraints have obstructed the development of viable degree apprenticeships for regulated healthcare professionals working in England and suggests some ways these constraints can now be managed and overcome.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses an analysis of published literature, reviews of government and health professional body policies and regulations and semi-structured interviews recorded with those leading on the development of degree apprenticeships in healthcare-regulated professions.

Findings

Once created, a bureaucracy tends to look for ways to control discourse, to sustain itself and to extend its reach. In doing so, fault lines may be exposed which undermine the position of that bureaucracy, but it will continue to control discourses to maintain power over those it requires to act. There is no pedagogical need for End Point Assessment (EPA) to measure the competence of regulated healthcare professionals. The paper produces evidence to show how meeting health professional registration requirements is a sufficient metric for measuring successful degree apprenticeship outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

This paper examined current practices relating to the registered nurse and nursing associate degree apprenticeships only. The validity of EPA for measuring occupational competence should be further investigated.

Practical implications

The NHS and other public service organisations should use these findings to re-examine and challenge the requirements for EPA in degree apprenticeships for all regulated professions.

Originality/value

Understanding how “centering” bureaucracies control discourse in their interests can help those in their orbit find ways to challenge and alter the course of policy.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 10 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Lisa Rowe, David Perrin and Tony Wall

In 2014, the UK Government introduced a new form of apprenticeship, the Degree Apprenticeship, which extends across all undergraduate degree and master’s degree levels…

Abstract

Purpose

In 2014, the UK Government introduced a new form of apprenticeship, the Degree Apprenticeship, which extends across all undergraduate degree and master’s degree levels, maps to professional standards, and which is now embedded within governmental levies of large businesses. The purpose of this paper is to share early experiences of developing these Degree Apprenticeships, and consider the processes deployed to achieve it.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper combines desk research with reflections on the experience of developing the new Degree Apprenticeships within higher education institutes (HEIs) and considers the implications of this upon current and emerging HEI practice and research.

Findings

There were a number of key resources which facilitated the approval of the Degree Apprenticeship, and these included a pre-existing, flexible work-based learning framework, the associated mechanisms of accreditation, existing professional networks, and a professionally oriented interface between the university, employer and professional body.

Research limitations/implications

As the context is currently at the early stages of implementation, and the policy context is rapidly changing in the context of Brexit, so too will the related scholarship. This means factors others than those highlighted within this paper may emerge over the coming year or two.

Practical implications

There are a number of practical implications for the development of Degree Apprenticeships from this research that are reflected in the findings, and include the development of flexible and collaborative processes, resources and networks.

Originality/value

This paper is one of the first published accounts of the development of a Degree Apprenticeship within the new policy context in the UK.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 September 2020

Jonathan Garnett

The article identifies and examines key elements of a work-based learning framework to consider their use as part of the higher education response to the apprenticeship

Abstract

Purpose

The article identifies and examines key elements of a work-based learning framework to consider their use as part of the higher education response to the apprenticeship agenda for the public sector in England.

Design/methodology/approach

This article draws upon work-based learning academic literature and the authors 28 years’ experience of the development and implementation of work-based learning at higher education level in the UK and internationally.

Findings

The article suggests that while the experience of work-based learning at higher education level appears to offer many ready-made tools and approaches for the development and delivery of higher and degree apprenticeships, these should not be adopted uncritically and in some cases may require significant repurposing.

Research limitations/implications

This article is intended to inform practitioners developing degree apprenticeships. Given the degree apprenticeship is still at a relatively early stage in its implementation, this has limited the extent to which it has been possible to review entire degree implementation to the point of participant graduation.

Practical implications

The article draws upon real-life implementation of innovative curriculum design and is of direct practical relevance to the design and operation of work-based learning for degree apprenticeships.

Social implications

Degree apprenticeships have the potential to increase productivity and enhance social mobility. Effective design and implementation of degree apprenticeships in the public sector has the potential to make a significant impact on the quality of public services.

Originality/value

The article provides an informed and sustained examination of how degree apprenticeships, especially those designed for public sector employees, might build upon previous higher education experience in work-based learning.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 10 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 March 2019

Stella McKnight, Sarah-Louise Collins, David Way and Pam Iannotti

The government’s ambition is to have three million more apprentices by 2020. The newness of degree apprenticeships and insufficient data make it difficult to assess their…

Abstract

Purpose

The government’s ambition is to have three million more apprentices by 2020. The newness of degree apprenticeships and insufficient data make it difficult to assess their relative importance in boosting the UK economy, meeting higher skills needs of employers, closing educational attainment gaps, increasing social mobility and supporting under-represented groups into professional employment. The purpose of this paper, led by the University of Winchester and delivered by a new collaboration of private and public sector partners, is to build a pipeline between those currently failing to progress to, or engage with, degree apprenticeships and employers seeking higher skills and a broader pool of applicants.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides an analysis of collaborative initiatives and related research in England as the context for university involvement in degree apprenticeships. The case study illustrates the benefits of collaboration in targeted outreach initiatives within the local region to address gaps in progression to degree apprenticeships.

Findings

This paper illustrates how establishing a regional picture of degree apprenticeship provision, access and participation can inform effective partnerships and build capacity locally to deliver the higher skills employers need, further demonstrating the potential benefits of university involvement in degree apprenticeship provision in contributing to local and national policy ambition. It also shows how effective targeted interventions can help under-achieving groups, including those in social care and women in digital enterprises.

Originality/value

The authors believe this paper is the only academic analysis of the impact of Degree Apprenticeship Development Fund activity in the region.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Arti Saraswat

The UK government is actively promoting higher apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships and this agenda has been gaining momentum amongst the various providers of…

1075

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Practical implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 August 2018

Sitalakshmi Venkatraman, Tony de Souza-Daw and Samuel Kaspi

In this rapidly changing world, we are experiencing the fourth industrial revolution, known as “Industry 4.0,” that requires education systems to redesign qualifications…

1910

Abstract

Purpose

In this rapidly changing world, we are experiencing the fourth industrial revolution, known as “Industry 4.0,” that requires education systems to redesign qualifications in order to meet the needs of an individual and the workplace of the digitized economy. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the relatively new approaches being explored mainly in the UK and Australia within the higher education (HE) sector and to propose a framework with selected career training pathways for the tertiary education system within the Australian context. The implementation plan postulated from the reports of recent studies conducted in England’s apprenticeship system is intended as a guideline for facilitating a sustainable career and technical education (CTE) with three pillars of innovation, integration and collaboration in order to improve employment outcomes required for the digitized economy in Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts a descriptive, pragmatic research methodology to review and analyze education methods found in contemporary degree and vocation programs, particularly the degree apprenticeships adopted in England. This approach is used to explore, explain and develop a framework for student-centric apprenticeship options in CTE with graduate outcomes in the re-designed HE programs to successfully meet the needs of Industry 4.0 workplaces in Australia.

Findings

A student-centric framework is designed for HE programs with a proposal to include practical variations in apprenticeships to embrace flexible structures and industry responsiveness. The paper develops tactical plans and implementation flowcharts for the proposed framework with four CTE pathways, such as degree apprenticeships, start-up focus degrees, tailored studies and multiple majors that are designed for tertiary education programs to meet the dynamically changing employment needs of industry.

Originality/value

This proposal is a relatively new approach to improve employment outcomes of students undergoing degrees and vocational education with a focus on apprenticeship in four different forms. The strength of this pragmatic approach is in providing an insight into “what works” through a set of flexible, sustainable and practical implementation plan for the proposed CTE pathway framework in order to meet the future need of re-skilling and training for the digital economy.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Mandy Samantha Crawford-Lee

The purpose of this paper is to provide a short overview of current government policy and context to the development of higher and degree apprenticeships and the…

577

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a short overview of current government policy and context to the development of higher and degree apprenticeships and the engagement of higher education (HE) providers in delivery to achieve the ambition of three million apprenticeship starts by 2020.

Design/methodology/approach

Opinion piece contextualising the UK Government’s approach to apprenticeship reforms and the role of HE and further education in the design and development and delivery of higher and degree apprenticeships.

Findings

The apprenticeship system is at a critical stage of development and HE providers need to embrace the opportunities and address the competitive challenges of apprenticeship delivery given the £2.5 billion per annum that will be raised by the apprenticeship levy and the threat to their existing and traditional HE provision.

Originality/value

Reflects the ambition and mission of the University Vocational Awards Council.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 February 2017

Alison Felce

The purpose of this paper is to present the innovative approach being taken by the University of Wolverhampton to create an Apprenticeship Hub through which the regional…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the innovative approach being taken by the University of Wolverhampton to create an Apprenticeship Hub through which the regional offer for Intermediate, Advanced, Higher and Degree Apprenticeships can be accessed. Readers can review the approach taken and consider the possibilities of a similar approach in their own context.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a case study that sets out and discusses the drivers behind the approach adopted to create the Apprenticeship Hub. It identifies the stakeholders who will engage with the Apprenticeship Hub and it outlines the reasons for, and benefits of, working in collaboration with other organisations to provide an integrated offer for apprenticeship provision across the region.

Findings

The Apprenticeship Hub is a physical entity within a well-known local landmark building that is easily accessible to the communities which is intended to serve. It has been developed to meet the national and local contexts and, although only recently established, it is meeting the needs of the stakeholder groups. It provides an environment through which the integrated regional apprenticeship offer can be accessed.

Practical implications

The world of apprenticeships is changing significantly with many new requirements for employers and for education. It is a complex road to travel, particularly for Higher Education (HE) which has not, traditionally, been involved in the world of apprenticeships. This paper posits that a collaborative approach to stakeholder engagement and recognition of respective strengths can lead to organisations working in partnership to draw together their respective expertise to ensure that, through a collaborative approach they can meet the needs of the communities that they serve.

Originality/value

Apprenticeships are new to HE; universities are entering a complex and unknown territory. This paper sets out the approach taken by one university to work in partnership with others to provide an integrated offer that could be adopted or adapted by other providers to their own context.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

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