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University Alliance responds to Education Select Committee report on apprenticeships

Liz Bromley, Acting Chief Executive of University Alliance commented:

“The system is not broken but it does need urgent fixing in many areas.The report is right to demand degree apprenticeships are a national strategic priority and key to driving social justice – but it’s not going to happen on its own without major reforms”. 
 
“The levy is complex, confusing and misunderstood by far too many employers, who don’t know how to access or use it. This is compounded by the bottleneck in apprenticeships being signed off, so the levy surplus is building up in Treasury coffers. The knock-on effect risks providers like universities or colleges backing out of providing programmes, because they can’t cover costs”. 
 
“Ministers need to draw on the near-universal good will to get degree apprenticeships right. We and others have put forward a bold set of reforms to carry on expanding programmes on offer. We will continue to engage with government and the sector to deliver the prize that a thriving apprenticeship sector offers”.
“The tide is turning. Apprenticeships are now longer seen as a short-term cash cow or a bolt on to what to higher education should be about. Our membership includes some of the biggest and best established providers of degree and higher apprenticeships in the country. It is right to challenge higher education to do far more but a great number of our universities are delivering apprenticeships to great effect in spite of government policy, not because of it.”