Aston University leads the way with degree apprenticeships

Aston University leads the way with degree apprenticeships

Aston University is showing businesses across the UK how taking on a degree apprentice can gear them up for the future by boosting skills, knowledge and productivity.

The government has pledged to increase the number of apprenticeships to three million by 2020.

To support this aim, the government is helping businesses to develop and deliver degree apprenticeships using the apprenticeship levy in partnership with universities like Aston.

Aston University has been working with business and industry since 1895 to develop young people into skilled work-ready professionals.

They were one of the pioneers of the placement year, where students spend a year of their degree working in organisations to develop key competencies.

As the first to offer degree apprenticeships back in 2015, they are currently the only university that has degree apprenticeship alumni, with 26 students having graduated from the Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship this year.

With the Vice-Chancellor Professor Alec Cameron’s mission for the university to be the UK’s leading university for business and the professions, degree apprenticeships form a vital role in Aston’s work to provide business growth and improvement services to both regional SMEs and major multinationals.

Degree apprenticeship lead, Sasha Morgan Manley, says more businesses should be taking advantage of the funding opportunities available for businesses of all sizes.

“Employers that pay into the levy can reclaim the money that they have paid in to fund apprenticeship training within their business”

“It’s not just about big corporations though. SMEs and non-levy paying organisations can also get access to government funding for degree apprenticeship training, helping them to accelerate productivity and growth at a fraction of the usual cost.”


“The government is offering non-levy paying businesses 90% funding of the full cost, but depending on eligibility, 100% of the costs could be covered.”

“It is a great opportunity for businesses of all sizes to either train up their existing staff to encourage them to remain with the organisation, or a chance to recruit new fresh talent with bright ideas bringing diversity and innovation to the business.”

“The benefits of degree apprenticeships are numerous and not to be ignored. Degree apprenticeships have been designed by employers to address skills shortages.

"So, by taking on apprenticeships, you’ll be futureproofing your organisation and creating an opportunity for your business to grow.”

Sasha added that employees who are better trained for their jobs cause a rise in productivity.

The Education & Skills Funding Agency have reported that that 76% of businesses reported an increase in productivity thanks to their apprentices.

“Degree apprentices add value to organisations from day one,” Sasha added.

“They are based in the workplace the majority of the time so they can start transferring their new knowledge and skills that they learn at Aston to their day to day work. It means you are getting the value straight away.”