Apprenticeship toolkit

About the toolkit

What you need to know

Apprenticeships is a growth area undergoing massive reform, with a government target of three million starts by 2020. The employer levy funding which began in April 2017 is estimated at £2.5 bn, and we are already seeing signs that employers are choosing to spend the funds available to them at the higher levels. ​

  • Higher apprenticeships at levels 4 and 5 are equivalent to a higher education certificate, higher education diploma or a foundation degree.
  • Degree Apprenticeships at level 6 are generally equivalent to a bachelor’s degree.​

This guide is aimed at helping colleges and universities make effective use of technology in delivering the new apprenticeship standards whether you have little previous experience or are changing from delivering frameworks. It is aimed at senior managers, staff designing and supporting learning and IT support services.

Although the apprenticeship levy applies to employers UK wide, arrangements for funding apprenticeships differ across the devolved administrations. This guide has a particular focus on helping manage the changes taking place in England in relation to the data and information side but the good practice in enhancing apprentice learning through technology is universally applicable.

​We cannot emphasise enough the importance of being fully conversant with the ESFA funding rules and the details of the precise standard and assessment plan to which you are delivering. This guide is not a replacement for more general information on apprenticeships.

Why it matters

Increasing and more effective use of technology will be crucial to meeting the needs of this new employer led approach whilst maintaining high quality. Employers want to see efficient and flexible delivery models, developing the required skills whilst minimising impact to their business. Student apprentices are used to accessing information when and where they want it and they too want flexible access to learning.

Despite increasing awareness of the potential of technology to support apprenticeship delivery, there are many practical obstacles.

Find out more about the outcomes of our 2018 survey on higher and degree apprenticeships here.​ ​

Voices of experience

‘The workplace experiences drive the academic side and the academic side drives back into improved workplace performance. It is harder work for the student apprentice but at the end of it they come out with the full polished product of somebody who can walk the walk and talk the talk rather than somebody with a degree certificate who is just starting.’ Patrick Viney, Northumbria University.

Be inspired

‘I wanted to increase my skill set in a way that would allow me to learn while working and earning a full-time wage. The degree apprenticeship with Manchester Met allows me to understand the context of what I’m learning and gives me the chance to apply it. And I won’t have any debt.’ Ellie Warburton, Digital & Technology Solutions degree apprenticeship, AstraZeneca, Manchester Metropolitan University Read Ellie’s case study.

‘Doing different placements lets you learn from colleagues who are experts in the field, and gain insights you can only get from real-world experience. … The most challenging aspect is time management. I’m currently studying for a degree, a Level 4 NVQ qualification and completing work placement tasks. I soon figured out a way of managing my time well and quickly enjoyed the rewards.’ Robert MacFadden, Aerospace Software Development Engineering apprenticeship, BAE Systems, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)

Read Robert’s case study.

‘The most enjoyable part of the apprenticeship is learning skills you can take back and practise in the workplace.’ Tom Colbeck, degree apprenticeship in Business Leadership and Management, University of Portsmouth.

Read Tom’s case study.