UK government set to pull plug on MBA apprenticeships

A controversial MBA apprenticeship scheme that authorized firms in England to send out senior executives to organization college with dollars earmarked for on-the-position education is established to be axed.

The move to scrap the qualification was uncovered when the Institute for Apprenticeships and Complex Schooling, which administers apprenticeship requirements, revealed a revised checklist of apprenticeship requirements subsequent responses from businesses with all reference to MBAs taken off.

The determination is envisioned to be verified in early June when the authorities is due to publish a critique of MBA apprenticeships. 

The inclusion of MBAs as aspect of the government’s apprenticeship scheme was widely criticised as it diverted a significant proportion of the funding away from place of work education. The funding for apprenticeships comes from a levy released in 2017 that involves businesses with once-a-year wage payments above £3m to established apart an equivalent of .5 for each of their payroll.

Underneath levy procedures, businesses are supplied command above which skills can be classed as apprenticeships. Accredited schemes vary from level-two GCSE-equivalent classes for college leavers, these kinds of as education for shop employees, to degree-level roles, these kinds of as legal professionals and nurses.

The MBA was integrated as a aspect of the level-seven senior leader occupational typical.

Underneath the improvements, businesses will nevertheless be authorized to shell out the levy on substantial-level management education but it would be less beautiful as individuals would no longer acquire a masters degree at the conclude of the programme.

Critics argued the MBA scheme was an abuse of the apprenticeship levy. In the initial whole year just after the levy was released in April 2017, there had been 375,800 new apprenticeship begins, a 26 for each cent drop on the exact interval in 2015/sixteen.

Nonetheless, the proportion of increased-level apprenticeships, equivalent to bachelor’s levels and above, greater from 5.three for each cent to 12.8 for each cent for the duration of this interval.

A research by FE Week magazine calculated that there had been 6,387 begins on MBA apprenticeship programmes up to the conclude of the initial quarter of 2019/twenty. Given that each and every of these classes can acquire up to £18,000 from the apprenticeship levy pot, up to £115m had been used on the standard in that fiscal year.

Jennifer Coupland, chief government of the institute, had as recently as January defended the MBA programme, which she mentioned loaded expertise gaps recognized by businesses.

Nonetheless, the hottest responses from businesses has shown a shift in opinion. “The employer team have made a distinct suggestion, which we are now consulting on,” the IfATE mentioned.

The Division for Schooling mentioned: “The education and learning secretary is committed to protecting an employer-led procedure, but is not certain the levy need to be utilized to fork out for staff, who are frequently previously remarkably capable and remarkably compensated, to acquire an MBA.”

Organization faculties, which have benefited most from the development in bachelor’s and masters-level degree apprenticeships, expressed disappointment at the determination to get rid of the capacity to achieve an MBA by means of levy funding.

“Better professionals is what this country desperately demands,” mentioned Anne Kiem, chief government of the Chartered Affiliation of Organization Colleges, which signifies the Uk sector.

“Taking the qualification out of the senior leader typical would make it extremely unattractive for most of those people who have signed up for it to date.”