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Degree apprenticeships available to help drive business success

Yorkshire employers have been invited to support a drive to create a new wave of skilled staff for the region.

Group of three workers sat a their desktops, with central women smiling

Leeds Beckett University is encouraging small and medium businesses (SMEs) with a wage bill of less than £3m to take advantage of low-cost education courses.

These organisations do not have to contribute to a Government levy scheme to provide funding for degree apprenticeships.

But they can still take part in the education programme at a small proportion of the cost compared to larger employers in degree courses ranging from civil engineering and digital & technology solutions to mental health nursing and social work.

Professor Chris Prince, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Business Engagement at Leeds Beckett University said: “With Leeds Beckett University having the ability to offer degree apprenticeships to non-levy paying organisations, it reflects our growing reputation for the quality and breadth of our provision, and cements our role as the leading provider of degree apprenticeships in the region.

“We are able to offer SME's up to 95% funding of degree apprenticeship course fees. This presents companies with a fantastic opportunity to build their staff skills base a fraction of the true cost.”

The university already works closely with a number of UK employers to design industry-relevant degree apprenticeships that allow staff to boost their skills and earn qualifications directly relevant to their job, while in work.

For example, in partnership with national pub and hotel chain JD Wetherspoon, LBU has created a bespoke business management degree apprenticeship programme for their regional, area and pub managers. Each year, about 100 of Wetherspoon's staff study alongside their employment.

Degree apprenticeships are also suitable for school leavers who have just entered the workplace, with their tuition fees paid by employers and the government.

LBU currently offers degree apprenticeships in Business Management Practice Chartered Manager, Senior Leader MBA, Adult and Mental Health Nursing, Nursing Associate, Advanced Clinical Practice, Social Work, Building Services Engineering, Civil Engineering, Digital & Technology Solutions, Quantity Surveying, Building Surveying, Real Estate and Property Management, Project Management, Chartered Town Planning and Chartered Legal Executive.

Plans are also underway to offer apprenticeship degrees in Environmental Health, Architecture and District Nursing.

Bachelors and Masters degree apprenticeships were launched by the government in September 2015. Levy-paying organisations divert 0.5 per cent of their wage bill over £3m into the apprenticeship fund. Employers benefit from having more highly-skilled staff who can increase productivity and achieve further career progression.

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