Degree Apprenticeships launched for business technology sector


Aston University is one of eight UK Universities selected to deliver new Degree Apprenticeships to meet increased industry demand for digital training and skills. 

The new Digital Apprenticeships announced by the Government last week, will allow young people to complete a full Honours degree alongside their employment. These first Apprenticeships will focus on the digital sector, and are expected to suit people embarking on careers ranging from business analysis to software development and technology consultancy. 

Due to launch in September 2015, they will offer participants the opportunity to gain access to academic learning alongside relevant and practical work training. The Government and partner firms cover tuition fees, with students earning a professional wage throughout.

A number of employers involved in the Tech Partnership have already committed to offering Degree Apprenticeships. These include Accenture, BT, Capgemini, CGI, Ford, Fujitsu, GlaxoSmithKline, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Hewlett Packard, IBM, John Lewis, Lloyds Banking Group, Network Rail and Tata Consulting Services.

Aston is currently working with partner firms to develop and tailor degree programmes relevant to their individual requirements. An announcement of firms that will be specifically working with Aston University will be made in the New Year.

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said:
  “These new digital qualifications are the latest example of Government working in partnership with academia and industry to ensure that education and training routes are providing the skills which employers need now and in the future.

Professor Ian Nabney who has been developing the Degree Apprenticeships and partnerships on behalf of Aston University, said: 
"Aston University is committed to innovative employer-led learning. The aim of these new apprenticeships is to combine academic learning with real life practical skills to ensure that the UK has the talented and creative digital workforce that it needs in the future.”

Tech Partnership board member and Capgemini UK Chairman, Christine Hodgson, added:
The Government’s support for this new route into employment will enable young people to build the academic and practical skills needed for success in the tech sector and will help create the talent needed to boost the digital economy.”

Aston University’s involvement in the Degree Apprenticeship scheme builds upon the University’s existing partnership with Capgemini which has seen the development of two degrees for Higher Apprenticeships - Software Engineering and Information Systems. These are the first sponsored degrees in the UK ICT sector to be taught and delivered almost entirely in the workplace rather than attending day release at University and are thus particularly well suited to a highly mobile workforce. They include a range of bespoke modules designed specifically to help produce the software engineers and information system specialists of the future that Capgemini needs.

Other universities supporting the scheme are Exeter, Greenwich, Loughborough, Manchester Metropolitan, University College London,University of the West of England and Winchester.

Students potentially interested in future Degree Apprenticeships at Aston University should contact


Notes to editors:

For further media information please contact Alex Earnshaw, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4549 or

About The Tech Partnership:

The Tech Partnership is a growing network of employers, collaborating to create the skills to accelerate the growth of the digital economy. Its leadership includes the CEOs of major companies in the tech industry, heads of technology from companies across the economy, and small company representation. The Tech Partnership is recognised by government as the Industrial Partnership for the Information Economy. It is supported by, and is taking forward, the work of e-skills UK.

About Degree Apprenticeships:

  • Prospective apprentices can apply to the companies that are offering the programmes once the vacancies are advertised in the New Year. These companies will then work with the relevant universities to select the students most able to be successful in both the degree and their career.
  • Government will fund two thirds of the costs of the training and course fees, up to a maximum cap which will be set following government approval. Employers will pay the apprentice a wage and contribute the other third of the cost of the training and course fees. This has been made possible by the £20 million funding announced at Budget 2014 including the commitment that government will fund Higher Education provision within the Apprenticeships programme.
  • A young person doing the new programme will be employed and earning a wage throughout, not have to pay any student fees, and complete their apprenticeship with a full honours degree.
  • The first Degree Apprenticeships will start in September 2015.
  • This announcement reflects the government’s commitment to developing higher level skills through a range of routes and to accelerating the growth of the digital economy.This model breaks new ground by fully integrating on the job training and academic learning at degree level with courses co-designed by a range of employers and a range of universities specifically for apprentices, testing both the academic learning and on-the-job practical skills..
  • Companies can contact for more information on how to get involved with Degree Apprenticeships in the digital sector and for details of the apprenticeship trailblazer scheme.
  • For more information on apprenticeships visit