Almost two thirds of the UK’s biggest employers are planning Degree Apprenticeships to coincide with the Apprenticeship Levy

Over half are planning on converting graduate schemes to apprenticeship programmes once the new tariff comes into play. 

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Almost two-thirds (65%) of some of the UK’s biggest employers are planning to offer Degree Apprenticeships after the Apprenticeship Levy comes into place this year, research has found.

There is also a general move from these employers to higher-level apprenticeships, with over three-quarters (78%) also considering Level 5, 6 and 7 apprenticeships that don’t involve degrees.

Over half (53%) say they will convert graduate into apprenticeship programmes, and 31% say they are planning to reduce the number of graduates they employ as a result of apprenticeships.

The research – carried out by BPP, Trendence UK and Group GTI, from December 2016 to January – was targeted at 300 UK employers who are among the largest levy payers in the country, with 12 sectors represented. A third (100) of employers responded with almost two-thirds (64%) of them paying over a £1 million levy, 21% over £5 million and 10% over £8million.

Over half (53%) say they will convert graduate into apprenticeship programmes, and 31% say they are planning to reduce the number of graduates they employ as a result of apprenticeships

Over 40% of those surveyed say they are in favour of the Apprenticeship Levy, with 28% saying they have no opinion: there is relatively little negative feeling about the introduction of the new tariff.

Most recruiters see the levy as an opportunity to earmark funds to train existing staff as well as to bring in new talent. Three-quarters (75%) will use it to train existing staff and a similar proportion (74%) will use it to hire and develop more talent.

However, many are also planning on using it to support diversity (30%), CSR (26%), government (30%) and social mobility (39%) initiatives.

Findings also show that most employers have defined their levy strategy and identified which resulting apprenticeship standards they will use, but that they haven’t yet decided how they will run their programmes. 

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