Higher and degree apprenticeships – information for employers

Higher and degree apprenticeships are developed at Kingston University with employers to provide existing employees and new recruits with the skills and knowledge employers require.

On successful completion, higher and degree apprenticeships provide graduate apprentices with a solid foundation for career progression.

European Social Fund logo

European Social Fund

Apprenticeships are funded by the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) through a levy and where employers do not pay into the levy, funding may be received from European Social Fund (ESF) match project.

What are the benefits of apprenticeships for employers?

Attract and retain skilled employees

Higher and degree apprenticeships can be used to upskill your existing members of staff and broaden your talent pool of new recruits. Participation in the scheme demonstrates a clear commitment to staff development that is benchmarked against professional standards which can support talent management and staff retention initiatives. 

Meet business needs

Higher and degree apprenticeships are designed in partnership with employers to ensure that learners develop the skills and knowledge relevant to your business needs.

Gain value for money

Funding is generated through the apprenticeship levy and allows larger employers to use their contribution to pay for professional training within their organisation. Higher and degree apprenticeships are available to SMEs by co-investment.

Enhance your reputation

Participating in the higher and degree apprenticeship initiative demonstrates your commitment as an employer to offer and invest in the continuous professional development of your workforce.

Why partner with Kingston University?

Kingston University's strong focus on teaching excellence and industry-led learning prepare apprentices to develop the professional competences for enhanced employability and progression.

We work closely with trailblazer groups, local businesses and professional bodies for successful delivery of higher and degree apprenticeships as per the approved standards.

Our collaboration with industry experts has given us the required experience to develop programmes that combine academic qualification together with on the job training.

Since 2017, the number of our apprenticeship programmes have been steadily increasing year on year and we are committed to developing more programmes in line with workforce needs across the country within different sectors.

Why partner with Kingston University?

Apprenticeship standards

Apprenticeship standards are developed by employer groups known as 'trailblazers'. They describe the occupational profile linked to the knowledge, skills and behaviour that bring full competence in a particular occupation, such as:

  • Architect
  • Aerospace engineer
  • Project and business manager
  • Civil engineer
  • Building and quantity surveyor
  • Teacher
  • Nurse
  • Social worker
  • Cyber security technician
  • Data scientist

The apprenticeship standards describe how an apprentice can demonstrate mastery of this occupation by the end of the apprenticeship. A list of apprenticeship standards can be found on the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education (IfATE) website.

Funding and levy payments

Funding and levy payments

In April 2017, the Government introduced the apprenticeship levy to create long term sustainable funding for quality apprenticeships and to give employers more control over the range of apprenticeship opportunities available to their staff.

The levy means there is more money available than ever before for apprenticeship training. It also allows employers to choose which apprenticeships they offer, how many and when. By 2019/20 the funding available for investment in apprenticeships in England will have risen to over £2.5 billion.

Income from the levy is used to fund apprenticeship training for all. The levy is paid by large employers with a pay bill of over £3 million (they pay 0.5% of their total annual pay bill). Smaller employers, those with a total annual pay bill of less than £3 million, will have 95% of the cost of their apprenticeship training funded from Government. They pay just 5% of the cost of their apprenticeship training.

Entry requirements and eligibility

To qualify for a higher and degree apprenticeship, an employee is required to:

  • be employed in a relevant job for a minimum of 30 hours per week and will need approval from their employer to enrol onto a course
  • have been ordinarily resident in UK or EEA for at least three years prior to the apprentice programme
  • spend 50% of the working hours in England during the duration of the apprentice programme
  • adhere to the programme specific competencies and entry requirements
Entry requirements and eligibility

What our partners say

Our working relationship with Kingston is excellent – I have always found my contacts at the university to be quick to respond and helpful, and to respond positively and professionally to any feedback offered. During the current situation arising from the COVID-19 pandemic I have found the support from the university invaluable with regards to ensuring that our learners are fully supported and feel confident in the completion of their apprenticeships and the move to study online.

Manager, WSP Global

Manager, WSP Global
Next steps

Next steps

If you are interested in how apprenticeships can support your organisation and employees, please contact the apprenticeship team for further details.

You can also find useful information for employers on the gov.uk website.

Contact us

For more information, please contact the apprenticeship team.

Email: degreeapprenticeships@kingston.ac.uk