A new degree apprenticeship qualification for supply chain professionals is being developed as the first of its kind in England.

On 6 April 2017, the way the government funds apprenticeships in England is changing. Some employers will be required to contribute to a new apprenticeship levy, and there will be changes to the funding for apprenticeship training for all employers. The levy requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3 million each year, to invest in apprenticeships.

As a response to this, a new degree apprenticeship course, jointly developed by the Supply Chain Academy, Leeds Trinity University, and the Institute of Supply Chain Management, in conjunction with a group of logistics and supply chain firms, is seeking to address the growing skills and management gap in the UK supply chain sector.

The scheme was awarded a £50,000 development grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Once approved, a degree apprenticeship qualification will combine university study alongside paid work, and offer a chartered standard for supply chain managers.

The apprenticeship degree will cover supply chain management, purchasing, procurement, risk management and more, and was one of 18 projects to receive HEFCE funding.

UK minister for skills and apprenticeships Robert Halfon said: “Apprenticeships work, that’s why we’ve launched degree apprenticeships that give people a real change to earn while you learn; putting you on the fast track to a top career. This multimillion-pound fund will allow universities and colleges to work with top employers to design high-quality degree apprenticeships that give people a ladder.”

Alex Mortimer, Director at The Supply Chain Academy, said: “There is a real demand across all sectors for highly trained managers to support a strong supply chain process. We are very pleased to be part of this Trailblazer with Leeds Trinity, and are confident that the new qualification not only responds to employer demand, but can also support the crucial role that businesses, particularly SMEs, play within the local economy.”

Paul Stone, Director of Human Resources at Uniserve Group, said: “We are excited by this opportunity to create a high level qualification specifically to meet the needs of supply chain managers. Supply chains are a critical component of every business and this qualification will help us select and develop the best possible talent for the future.”

A first meeting of the Supply Chains Trailblazer will be held on Thursday 8 December at The Supply Chain Academy in Upminster. The meeting will be followed by a dinner and launch event for employers wanting to find out more about the new qualification.

Any businesses, across England, who are interested in the Supply Chain Management degree apprenticeship, are invited to register their interest with Sally Gale at Supply Chain Academy on 01708 259 450 or sg@supplychainacademy.org.uk

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