Business – Why Degree Apprenticeships?

by | May 16, 2019

Understanding what a degree apprenticeship is and what the benefits are to business and business leaders, is becoming an important consideration for attracting, developing and retaining the right talent. 

Degree Apprenticeships are a new route into higher education, combining a small amount of university supported business study with the practical skills gained on a day-to-day basis in the workplace.

The employee receives the security of a regular salary, a sign of investment from you, and three to four years of practical work experience that means they will be ahead of their peers who complete a traditional university degree.

Degree Apprenticeships should definitely be on every business leader’s radar, and here are ten reasons why;


1. Tuition fees are paid

In a Degree Apprenticeship, your company can use the Apprenticeship Levy scheme to cover the cost of the degree and tuition. Your apprenticeship levy pot is a tax that is reclaimable for spending on approved apprenticeships within a time limit, but is otherwise lost to the taxman forever. 

2. Existing staff can benefit too

Let us not focus too much on the word ‘apprentice’. Degree Apprenticeships are not just for youngsters and new recruits, they are a means for employees of all ages to gain a degree. You can take advantage of the funding available to develop your existing team!

3. Their work for you can count towards their degree

While there may be variations, a degree apprenticeship would typically require around 20% of the employees time to be focused on course work. However, projects they are working on during their every day activities can be recorded and counted towards their qualification and this is included in the 20%.  

4. A sign of investment and commitment to people

Demonstrating to employees that you are willing to invest in them for a long term period shows a major commitment from you as a company. This provides your people with security and a sense of being valued, while demonstrating and helping to promote your business as an employer of choice.  

5. Your employees will be a step ahead of their peers

As we eluded to above, new employees will have gained three to four years of practical experience in their roles by the time they achieve their degree. This is not the case with a traditional degree and should be of major benefit to your business. Employees will be acclimatised to your culture and company values, they will undoubtedly know their existing roles inside out and already be providing value to your business.

6. A means of attracting and retaining talent

Offering a degree apprenticeship as part of a new position is a great means of attracting applicants ahead of your competitors. It is also an appealing proposition for candidates that would otherwise have opted for university. Used correctly, a Degree Apprenticeship can prove to be advantageous when looking to retain talented individuals within your organisation. 

7. Helps to create T-shaped people

A T-shaped person has depth in knowledge and skills, as well as breadth. They would be an expert in at least one field but also have capabilities and a good understanding of the entire process. In our field – supply chain – which is such a diverse entity, encompassing many departments within an organisation, T-shaped people are of incredible benefit to business. 

8. Training and new ideas for your employees

Typically, a supply chain degree apprenticeship will include around 15-20 days offsite training per year. As part of a cohort that usually includes employees from other organisations, learners will not only gain access to expert tuition, but will also be involved in collaborative learning experiences and gain alternative ideas from others that they can bring back to your business and adapt. 

9. Financial benefits for the employee and their family

The cost of attending university for an individual or their family is substantial. A Degree Apprenticeship provides a salaried career opportunity, rather than a high cost, as a means to earn rather than generate debt. While salaries and costs vary, the net benefit could easily be in excess of £100,000 over a three to four year period.

10. Its the degree for business

For the large part, Degree Apprenticeships rely on business input rather than academic, while the creation of each standard is often driven by employer groups to accommodate business needs. A work based approach that is funded through reclaimable corporate taxes, the Degree Apprenticeship really is the degree for business.


– The Supply Chain Degree

The supply chain industry, which comprises product or service designers, buyers, vendors, producers, warehouse and distribution staff, retailers, service providers and any administrative roles that support the supply chain process, now has its own Degree Apprenticeship.

The BSc(Hons) degree in supply chain management is delivered by our sister company – CP Training Services. To find out more about how business can benefit from staff completing this Degree Apprenticeship, please contact Alex Mortimer on 01708 259450 or email

Supply Chain News from the Supply Chain Academy. The only learning resource centre focused solely on the subject of supply chain, for more information call 01708 259450 or email

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