Degree Apprenticeship News

by | Jul 26, 2017

The world’s first apprenticeship route to supply chain leadership roles, which has been developed by an employer group consisting of around 25 organisations and a number of Universities, and is led by the Uniserve Group and the Supply Chain Academy – is set to launch in early 2018.

The Supply Chain Leadership Professional Integrated Degree Apprenticeship will deliver and assess – through both academic learning and on-the-job training – the knowledge, skills and behaviours that are required to perform competently in this senior role and includes the achievement of a full bachelor’s degree upon completion.

Degree apprentices, as with other apprentices, will be in employment throughout – spending 20% of their time on academic study. The cost of course fees is shared between government and employers, so apprentices do not pay fees or have any student debt.

Paul Stone, the Uniserve Group’s HR Director and Director of the Supply Chain Academy, leads the employer group that developed the degree apprenticeship. He commented: “This is a long-awaited work-based career route that will ensure that the UK is well-equipped to deal with the increasing complexities of global trade during and post-Brexit. 

“No longer are apprenticeships just focused on disadvantaged adults and young people in low and entry-level roles; instead employers are making a demand for apprenticeships at the higher education level and are creating a number of high-quality apprenticeship opportunities for young people and for those who are already mid-career.

“Our aim for this degree apprenticeship is to professionalise the industry. We expect it to go a long way towards addressing the growing skills and management gap in the supply chain sector, and achieving this qualification should provide employers with confidence that the individual has the required understanding of the ‘end-to-end’ supply chain at a leadership level”.

The coming together of the organisations and Universities in the employer group is acknowledgement and recognition by Government that the shortage of skills needed by a modern-day supply chain must be addressed.

The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy – the £2.5bn that is estimated to be raised from businesses with a payroll in excess of £3 million to support apprenticeships – gives businesses a powerful incentive to work with Universities, as it offers not only sustainability of investment in the apprenticeship system going forward, but also refocuses apprenticeships on those higher-level skills and occupations that will drive the UK economy.

The development of the Supply Chain Leadership Degree Apprenticeship recently earned the Uniserve Group a nomination for the Future Skills Award at the 2017 Logistics Awards, organised by SHD Logistics. Winners will be announced on 21 September.

For more information about the Supply Chain Leadership Professional Integrated Degree Apprenticeship contact the Employer Group Chair, Paul Stone, on pxs@ugroup.co.uk.

 

So, what exactly Is the Supply Chain Leadership Degree Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships, as a result of England-wide reform, are now clearly positioned by Government as a workforce development policy designed to raise business productivity.

No longer are apprenticeships just focused on disadvantaged adults and young people in largely low level and entry level job roles; instead employers are making a demand for apprenticeships at the higher education level and creating a number of high-quality apprenticeship opportunities for young people and those already in work and mid-career.

Apprenticeships now meet the needs of business, create meaningful technical and professional pathways in work and lead to the acquisition of higher level skills that are developed and utilised to the benefit of employer organisations.

DEVELOPMENT IN SUPPLY CHAIN LEADERSHIP

The breadth and depth of knowledge required and the ability to apply the occupationally relevant skills within a cross-function, complex, fast-moving, global environment make the supply chain leadership professional career path distinctive – and necessary.

As a result, apprenticeships are for the first time being positioned as a route to a senior supply chain leadership job role, following the creation of the Supply Chain Leadership Professional Employer Group in March this year.

This development brings together a consortium of over 20 employers and more than a dozen universities to design and create an Apprenticeship Standard that defines the knowledge, skills and behaviours that are required to perform competently in the job role. The Employer Group’s approach also adopts one of the newest concepts in the apprenticeship family; a “Degree Apprenticeship”, which includes the achievement of a full bachelor’s degree level qualification in supply chain on completion of the apprenticeship.

Significantly, the coming together of these employers and higher education institutions (HEIs) is acknowledgement and recognition by Government that the shortage of skills needed by a modern-day supply chain must be addressed.

The development of the Apprenticeship Standard is highly reflective of, and responsive to, the complexities associated with today’s business world; where the supply chain is increasingly recognised as a key determinant of competitive differentiation and where supply chain leadership capabilities drive competitive advantage.

APPRENTICESHIP LEVY

A further impetus is the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy. The ~£2.5bn that is estimated to be raised from businesses with a payroll in excess of £3 million can be used to support apprenticeships at all levels and for all ages 16+, including degree apprenticeships in England.

The Apprenticeship Levy will be a fundamental game-changer, and a powerful incentive to work with universities, as it offers not only sustainability of investment in the apprenticeship system going forward but also refocuses apprenticeships on those higher-level skills and occupations that will drive the UK economy.

EMPLOYER AND UNIVERSITY COLLABORATION

The Supply Chain Leadership Professional Integrated Degree Apprenticeship has materialised only because of strong collaboration; a partnership that recognises that employers are best placed to understand the competencies required to perform a particular job – in this case supply chain leader – while HEIs are best placed to understand the requirements for achieving the higher education qualification coupled with the required expertise in designing work-based assessment. Only by working jointly can the apprenticeship route be successfully implemented.

The Supply Chain Leadership Professional Integrated Degree Apprenticeship will deliver and test both academic learning and on-the-job training. The success of this apprenticeship programme will depend on employers and universities continuing to work together accepting that employers have taken the lead in designing the occupational standard while taking account of the innovation and excellence universities can offer. A full bachelor’s degree is awarded on successful completion of the apprenticeship.

The Supply Chain Leadership Professional Integrated Degree Apprenticeship is planned to launch in late 2017/early 2018.

For more information about the development of the Supply Chain Leadership Professional Standard contact the Employer Group Chair, Paul Stone: pxs@ugroup.co.uk.

 

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