Plans for PHD-level apprenticeships might be stalling

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FE Week reported this month that the IfA’s approval funding committee deferred approving the first PhD-level apprenticeship in December

Plans for PHD-level apprenticeships might not be going ahead because the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) has raised concerns the programmes might not be in the “spirit” of the programme.

FE Week reported this month that the IfA’s approval funding committee deferred approving the first PhD-level apprenticeship in December – which would have been a Level 8 programme –  “in order to seek further guidance from the board and the Department for Education on whether level 8 apprenticeships were compatible with the aims of the apprenticeship reform programme”.

Another meeting of the OfA board in January show that they had a discussion concluding that the Department for Education should “explore the concept of Level 8 apprenticeships further and agree a policy position”. 

A spokesperson for the department told FE Week: “We are continuing to keep the programme under review and discussions are on-going regarding these new proposals.

“We are looking carefully at what the priorities of the programme should be from 2020 onwards.”

Plans for PHD-level apprenticeships might not be going ahead because the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) has raised concerns the programmes might not be in the “spirit” of the programme.

The Nuclear Skills Strategy Group – which oversees apprenticeship developments in the UK nuclear sector – has been developing a Level 8 standard for the industry since the middle of last year.

FE Week also reported that a spokesperson for the group told them the plans for the PhD-level standard were included in their Nuclear Sector Deal, agreed with industry and government last June. “So we are already in close contact with government about the policy issues, and we look forward to their being resolved so that we can complete this development and have the standard ready for use this year.”

In December, the IfA estimated that the apprenticeships budget for England could be overspent by £0.5 billion this year, rising to £1.5 billion during 2021-22.

 

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