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Who pays for degree apprenticeships?

Find out what funding is available for degree apprenticeships.

Who pays for degree apprenticeships?

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Degree apprenticeships offer a win:win for everyone.  

Universities expand their student population and revenue streams. Employers build a pipeline of skilled talent within their business. And students get the opportunity to gain degree-level qualifications without paying substantial university fees – as is the case with traditional undergraduate degrees. 

So how are degree apprenticeships funded? 

The quick answer is: usually by the employer – but there is loads of government funding available for degree apprenticeships. Smaller businesses might see up to 95% of costs covered.   

How much do degree apprenticeships cost?

The cost of degree apprenticeship training ranges between £4,000 and £27,000, depending on the level and sector. Each degree apprenticeship standard has amaximum funding band which represents the maximum amount you should expect to pay for the training. 

If you pay the levy...

If you have an annual payroll of over £3 million per year, you’ll be contributing to the apprenticeship levy every month, and can use these funds to pay for apprenticeship training, which develops high-level skills in your business. 

Each month’s levy contribution must be used within 24 months otherwise it’s removed from your Apprenticeship Service (AS) account – so you might as well use it, or you’ll lose it! 

If you don’t pay the levy...

If you’re an SME with an annual payroll of less than £3 million, the Government will pay for 95% of apprenticeship training, and you’ll only have to pay the remaining 5%. For example, for a degree apprenticeship with the maximum funding cap of £27,000, the employer would only have to contribute £1,350. This contribution will need to be paid in full to comply with ESFA (Education and Skills Funding Agency) funding rules. 

If you have less than 50 employees...

Employers with fewer than 50 staff can train apprentices aged 16-18 for free. In this case, the Government will pay 100% of the training costs directly to the training provider. 

Additional payments available...

Whether you pay the levy or not, you can receive additional payments to support apprentices in the workplace. If you recruit an apprentice aged 16-18, or an apprentice aged up to 24 who has previously been in care or has a Local Authority Education, Health and Care Plan, you’ll receive an additional payment of £1,000. 

OneFile is the most popular software used by universities to support delivery of degree apprenticeships. We’re trusted by over 30 UK universities and half the top 10 degree apprenticeship providers – including The Open University, QA, Manchester Metropolitan University and London South Bank University. 

This also enables employers to log in and monitor their apprentices’ progress, collaborate with tutors, and provide feedback. 

We’re extremely happy with OneFile – the software works for our needs and our customer success manager goes above and beyond to support us!” 

Ben Campbell, University of Law

To find out more about degree apprenticeships and how OneFile works, download your ultimate guide to degree apprenticeships. 

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This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.