Aston welcomes new apprenticeship levy

Aston Campus

6 April 2017

  • The UK’s first university to take on degree apprentices welcomes the government’s new apprenticeship levy. 

Aston University, the UK’s first HE institution to take on degree apprentices, has welcomed the introduction of the apprenticeship levy which comes into force today.

From 6 April employers in England with a payroll over £3m will be charged a rate of 0.5% of the paybill as part of a government drive to train three million new apprentices by 2020. In return for paying the levy, employers will have access to subsidised apprenticeship training for their employees, including degree apprenticeships.

This summer the first degree apprenticeships to be awarded in the UK will graduate from Aston. The University has established two degree apprenticeship programmes: in chartered management and in digital technology solutions.

Professor Helen Higson, Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor at Aston University, said: “The introduction of the apprenticeship levy has placed a spotlight on developing skills and providing progression routes for those wishing to climb the ladder within their chosen profession. True productivity can only be reached when the knowledge of a profession is complimented by competence within a role and so apprenticeships have been developed to marry these two disciplines together.

“As a university whose mission is to be ‘the leading university for business and the professions’ degree apprenticeships are bringing unrivalled opportunities for us to work with employer to develop the skills that our economy needs for the future.”

Degree apprenticeships will meet demand from students who are looking for better job prospects and access to top graduate destinations and high salaries. Students have their fees paid for by the employer and the government, plus they have the opportunity to earn while they learn.

The content and delivery models of degree apprenticeships are so varied that they can be excellent solutions for upskilling academies, training new staff or delivering higher level qualifications to existing employees, just to name a few. They allow organisations to future proof their workforce through training employees in the skills needed for the future.

By offering an alternative route for students to gain a university degree, Aston is offering a choice for employers and students, supporting a higher level skills agenda, and are creating a wider pool of highly skilled graduates for employers to recruit into their workforce.

Students and employers interested in finding out more about apprenticeship opportunities at Aston should visit the website at


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About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston University has been always been a force for change. For more than 50 years the University has been transforming lives through pioneering research, innovative teaching and graduate employability success. Aston is renowned for its opportunity enabler through broad access and inspiring academics, providing education that is applied and has real impact on all areas of society, business and industry. True to Aston’s Coat of Arms which bears the word ‘Forward’, in 2016 Aston recently held a year-long anniversary celebration to recognise its heritage and achievements, but with a focus to drive forward the next stage in the University’s exciting journey.

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