Take an apprenticeship and you'll get both a qualification and relevant work experience - with that qualification being anything up to a Master's degree.
Apprenticeship standards explained
But what will you actually learn and experience? That's defined by the apprenticeship frameworks and standards; these list key information about each apprenticeship:
- the skills you will develop
- the knowledge you need to acquire
- the qualification you will take
- the professional recognition you gain
- information on entry requirements and duration
Apprenticeship 'frameworks' have traditionally been the way this has all been set out. But as part of the development of apprenticeships, new 'standards' are being designed by employers, which will eventually replace the old frameworks.
These standards will help expand apprenticeships into new industries. Standards for new degree apprenticeships have also been introduced for some job roles, including the requirement for completing a Bachelor's or Master's degree as the study element.
Over the last few years dozens of new apprenticeship standards have been developed and are already available. In October 2015, these numbered over 1500 job roles in more than 75 industries. At higher and degree level, this covers 80 different jobs.
What is the 2020 Vision?
The 2020 Vision sets out goals for apprenticeships, including getting 3 million people on to apprenticeships by 2020 and the setting up of the Institute for Apprenticeships in 2017. This employer-led body will regulate the quality of apprenticeships. An apprenticeship levy is also going to be introduced. This is a charge the largest employers will pay to fund the expansion of apprenticeships - covering the costs of training and qualifications and meaning the apprentice does not have to pay.
Video by the National Apprenticeship Service.
The expected results of 2020 Vision
In 2014/15 499,900 people started an apprenticeship with a total of 871,800 people working as an apprentice during the year. The 2020 Vision will increase this number dramatically by 2020, with more apprenticeships across all levels, and a significant increase in higher and degree apprenticeships.
This means even more people will be able to get qualifications equivalent to degrees (or in some cases an actual Bachelor's or Master's degree) all without the burden of tuition fees.