Gina McDonald, business development officer at the University of Central Lancashire, explains what degree apprenticeships are and how they can help your #GrowingLancashire business.
When a business needs new skills and expertise, the automatic assumption is that new staff will need to be recruited. However, more businesses are realising the potential of degree apprenticeships in upskilling existing employees.
Investing in your existing workforce can often be quicker, easier and more cost-effective than recruiting. That said, degree apprenticeships are also a great recruitment tool in their own right, as they can be offered as a training opportunity to attract new staff.
What are degree apprenticeships?
Degree apprenticeships combine a blend of technical knowledge, on-the-job experience and business skills by giving staff access to Foundation and Honours degrees with fees part-paid by government.
Here at UCLan, degree apprenticeships are a collaboration between the university as the training provider, the employer and student. And due to recent government announcements, there has never been a better time to get involved.
UCLan offers Degree Apprenticeships available at levels 4 to 6, and is committed to vocation education, offering professional accreditation for its programmes. The apprenticeships combine work with part-time study up to Honours degree level.
Two of our most popular degree apprenticeships, which are of great benefit to Lancashire businesses, are the BA in Business and Management and the BSc in Digital and Technology Solutions.
How can they benefit my business?
- You can tap into an existing talent pool Often the best opportunities to upskill the workforce are right under our noses. Tapping into your existing employees’ thirst for knowledge will allow your business to grow by making your team more productive. It also cuts down on the cost and administration of the recruitment process.
- You’ll get greater staff loyalty - Nothing shows your staff you value them as being willing to invest in their future. If your staff can see opportunities for career progression then they are more likely to stay put, again reducing recruitment costs. Adding degree apprenticeships to your training mix is a great way to do this.
- You continue to benefit while they study - Unlike having an employee leave your company to go back into education, degree apprenticeships allow people to gain qualifications while continuing to work. It means you can start reaping the benefits straight away as they return from study days with new knowledge and experience.
- It’s a lot cheaper than you think - For Apprenticeship Levy paying employers (that’s if your wage bill is over £3m) levy payments from your digital account can be used to pay course fees. For non-Levy employers, the government will cover 90% of the cost of course fees.
- We support with you all the administration - The university will arrange for all contracts, payment schedules, and data reporting to the government on your behalf. You will be fully supported by the university’s HR, finance, and administrative services.
- They’re open to people of all ages - Degree apprenticeships are open to new and existing employees of all ages, therefore they should help employers to attract and retain talented employees to suit the specific needs of their organisation.
- Course content can be tailored to your business - Employers contribute to the content and development of the programmes, ensuring the apprentices are developing skills, capabilities and knowledge that are directly relevant to their particular workplace. Furthermore, businesses retain full control over the apprenticeship recruitment and selection process so they can select the most appropriate candidates for their organisations.
More information on UCLan’s Degree Apprenticeships can be found on the university’s website or by contacting Gina McDonald on 01772 895888.