The number of apprenticeship standards approved for delivery at education level 4 and above has grown significantly over the past few years, with the total now reaching 94. For any university thinking of beginning a Degree Apprenticeship programme, or perhaps expanding its offer, there is clearly no lack of potential opportunities out there to create new courses as part of a growing portfolio. However, in practical terms, the issue is not so much how many standards exist, but which of these present your institution with the best potential.
Identifying Demand is Vital to Unlocking Potential
Answering this question will of course depend partly on which courses your university is currently doing, whether they match to the current standards, and therefore whether they could potentially be converted to Degree Apprenticeships. But just as vital is the question of how much demand there is in the labour market for the particular standard you are thinking of offering.
Unlike traditional degrees, which do not necessarily need to be directly aligned to the labour market, Degree Apprenticeships must align as there are employers involved. What this means is that if your university is looking to create or expand its offer, understanding labour market demand is a crucial factor to unlocking potential.
Potential Demand for Degree Apprenticeships at the National Level
In order to explain this, let us first take a look at the national situation, before then moving onto a regional example. Using our Labour Market Insight (LMI) and our unique economic modelling methodology, we have carried out the following steps, which enable us to establish the potential that exists for Degree Apprenticeships:
- Firstly, we have mapped the 94 apprenticeship current standards at Level 4 and above to their related occupations
- Secondly, we have plugged this into our LMI so that we can effectively establish the occupation demand for those standards.
The graphic below shows, in very broad terms, some of the headline figures that this produces for the country as a whole:
As you can see, there are a total of 122 occupations that relate to the current list of Level 4+ apprenticeship standards. Not only this, but these occupations account for a significant part of the British labour market – 11.9 million jobs in total – with our projections showing significant growth in these occupations over the next few years (340,000 between 2017 and 2022), and significant new openings (2.9 million over the same period (this figure adds together projected job growth with job churn, which is caused by things like people retiring from their jobs)).
Potential Demand for Degree Apprenticeships at the Regional Level
However, although this information is useful, what individual universities really need in order to assess the Degree Apprenticeship potential for their institution, is insight on their region. The good news is that the granularity of our data allows us to drill down to very specific geographies – including Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) level, and Local Authority level –, which means that any university using this data can get more specific insight for their region, which in turn can begin to shape their thinking around expanding their offer.
For instance, the graphic below shows the same metrics we showed for the 94 Level 4+ standards at the national level, but this time we have drilled down into a particular area – the Heart of the South West LEP region:
Whilst the data shows that there may well be significant potential for new Degree Apprenticeships in the region, it does of course pose the question: which ones? Once again, we can answer this using our data. Having mapped the 94 standards to their related occupations, we can then establish which standards have the most employment demand and therefore the most potential.
So in the graph below, we show the Top 10 standards in the Heart of the South West LEP Region, as measured by the total number of jobs in the occupations that are associated with them:
Furthermore, we can also open up any standard to identify job numbers for the actual occupations that are associated with it. For example, the chart below shows the Accountancy / Taxation Professional (Level 7) standard, and the current job numbers in the Heart of the South West for the six occupations that relate to it:
It should be noted that we can also identify which of these occupations is projected to grow, and by how much, as well as the actual industries to which they relate, which is hugely useful in terms of employer engagement.
The sort of insight shown above will be of huge value to any university that is looking to create or expand its Degree Apprenticeship offer. By mapping the Level 4+ apprenticeship standards to regional occupation demand, you can:
- Identify which of your institution’s current degrees represent the best opportunities for conversion to Degree Apprenticeships
- See clearly what opportunities exist for creating new programmes
- Establish a more focused and strategic approach to your Degree Apprenticeship offer
We are holding a free webinar on 26th April, where we’ll be going through this in more detail. Why not sign up now, by clicking on the button below.
You can also find out more by downloading our free report, “Three Steps to Maximising Your Degree Apprenticeship Potential”.