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Demystifying Degree Apprenticeships

Degree apprenticeships can offer the best of both worlds for employers and employees looking to upskill – combining university study and practical workplace learning.

Despite the huge success of degree apprenticeships, many companies don’t consider whether they are the right option for their business and workforce because they just don’t know enough about the practicalities involved or the benefits apprenticeships can offer. In addition, there remain many outdated misconceptions associated with apprenticeships, including the potential costs, which businesses can find off-putting.

Here are some of the key facts and benefits for employers explained, and the opportunities available for businesses to partner with Northumbria…


Degree apprenticeships…

  • provide employees with practical and relevant skills and knowledge that can be applied immediately in the workplace.
  • involve part-time study, alongside continued work within the business.
  • develop core skills such as project management, problem solving and leadership, as well as more specific, subject-related technical skills.
  • are suitable for all sizes of organisations, from small businesses to multinational corporations.


Degree apprenticeships…

  • enhance existing employees’ knowledge and skills so they can progress to more senior roles – improving staff retention rates and avoiding unnecessary recruitment.
  • help attract new talent; ambitious people want to work for organisations that invest in their employees’ skills.
  • provide learning which is based on work-related situations, so employees will be contributing to an organisation’s performance even when they’re at university.
  • keep employees motivated and committed for the long-term, by helping them develop skills over several years.
  • deliver well-trained, highly skilled employees who add value – both directly and through their ability to coach, mentor and train other team members.


Degree apprenticeships…

  • are affordable because they’re funded by your apprenticeship levy account if you have an annual pay bill of £3m+ or heavily subsidised (up to 95% of the cost) by the Government if your annual pay bill is less than £3m.
  • are an inexpensive way to attract and retain talented employees, develop your workforce, fill skills gaps and improve your company’s performance.


  • Northumbria University is a leading degree apprenticeship training provider and was one of the first UK universities to offer government-supported degree apprenticeships.
  • The University offers 24 different degree apprenticeships across diverse sectors, from architecture, construction and engineering to digital, tech and creative, with a range of new apprenticeships being added to the portfolio in 2021.
  • Northumbria University delivers degree apprenticeship courses for more than one in ten of the organisations recently ranked in a new national league table for top apprenticeship employers.
  • Northumbria’s degree apprentices themselves have ranged from new starters through to senior managers and long-serving staff and professionals who are looking for a change in career.
  • The Leadership and Management degree apprenticeships offered at Northumbria are delivered by our award-winning business school and cover many different sectors.
  • Northumbria has strong relationships with business and industry and can develop tailored degree apprenticeships that directly meet the needs of a business, sector or workforce.

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In a connected world, collaboration can be the key to success. Find out more about how your business can work with Northumbria University to identify, explore and develop new business opportunities, by reading our Partner of Choice supplement at 

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