The government is considering introducing new apprenticeships at level 6 and 7 which would be equivalent to honours and masters degrees respectively.
Johns Hayes, skills minister, said that the framework of apprenticeships should be ‘progressive’ to help their reputation as a viable alternative to traditional higher education. The skills minister said:
‘We need to develop the brand so it is understood as a professional route and as a highway, not a cul-de-sac’
The Higher Apprenticeship Fund have already allocated provisions for the introduction of level 4 and level 5 (equivalent to foundation degree) apprenticeships and the introduction of the degree level equivalents could be soon to follow. This addition to the growing number of apprenticeship options available may mean that more and more people will be going down the more work-based educational route rather than traditional university study.
‘It depends on where you live, the type of apprenticeship etc. Apprenticeships are becoming more popular at the moment, so there will be more applicants for each one, unless you are looking for something really unpopular/unusual.’
‘Generally, I think if you can prove you’re dedicated and looking for a jobi n that field you won’t have a problem – it’ll really help if you have experience’
It is desired that more employers should create their own apprenticeship programmes and put more of their own input into the framework for qualifications. The skills minister also argued that his suggestion for a minimum year long duration for apprenticeships, to improve quality, complements the introduction of a progressive route with more choice. Figures show that there’s a return of £18 for every £1 that is invested in apprenticeships by the government.