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Professional apprenticeships to be introduced at degree level.

Apprenticeships are for the first time being developed at graduate and post-graduate levels in England.

Higher Apprenticeship frameworks will be available at degree level in professional subjects including law, accountancy and advanced engineering in 2013. These developments are introduced to increase the status and scope of Higher Apprenticeships as it is planned that graduate level Higher Apprenticeships will now provide an alternative route into certain professions that are currently only open to university graduates. As university study is not suited to every young person, these Higher Apprenticeships will provide extended opportunities for access to highly skilled professions, such as accountants, solicitors and engineers. This is important as the need for highly skilled professionals has become greater in the UK labour market in recent years. Awarding organisations are liaising with sector skills councils and professional regulatory bodies in developing the apprenticeship frameworks to facilitate compliance with professional regulation requirements and relevance to labour market needs.

Higher Apprenticeships are currently available at post-secondary levels 4 and 5 of the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) and will soon be offered at the same levels as Bachelor (QCF level 6) and Master’s (QCF level 7) degrees. The majority of apprenticeships in England are currently offered at Intermediate (QCF level 2) and Advanced (QCF level 3) levels allowing access to craft and technician level jobs. It is hoped that the new possibilities connected to the graduate Higher Apprenticeships will raise interest in this type of training. Higher Apprenticeships are furthermore considered a tool for increasing social mobility and creating more diverse work places.

Links:
• BIS press release, December 2012
• NAS information about Higher Apprenticeships
• SASE, BIS, 2011
• Higher Apprenticeship Fund Prospectus, NAS, 2011
• Higher Apprenticeships and Professional Bodies, PARN

 

23/05/2013 16:09:00

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