The FINANCIAL — Aston University has responded to the £18,000 cap on government funding for Senior Leader degree apprenticeship courses by introducing a new version of its Executive Apprenticeship MBA priced specifically to match the tariff.
The move means that senior leaders can easily access a customised version of Aston Business School’s triple-accredited Executive Apprenticeship MBA, ranked in the global top 40 MBA courses by CEO Magazine, by utilising the government’s degree apprenticeship levy fund, according to Aston University.
The levy, applied to businesses with a payroll bill of over £3 million, is designed to encourage workforce investment in skills.
Professor Helen Higson, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Aston University, said: “The introduction of the levy cap for the Level 7 Senior Leader apprenticeship could see many reputable business schools drop plans to develop courses that comply with the levy.
“We believe in making our world-class courses as accessible as possible to all businesses, and our decision to develop a version of our sought after Executive Apprenticeship MBA at £18,000 will mean that businesses can access one of the world’s highest ranked MBA programmes without being affected by the cap.
“We hope the steps we have taken will encourage firms to consider us for developing their workforce and improving productivity.”
Professor George Feiger, Executive Dean of Aston Business School, said: “We are committed to supporting British industry as it invests in enhancing its leadership and management skills through the degree apprenticeship programme.
“We have redesigned our Executive Apprenticeship MBA using a blend of online and personal tutoring so that it suits the work schedule of students and allows us to charge a fee in line with the government’s price cap for the Level 7 management apprenticeship.
“We want to embody the agility that we endorse and teach in our programmes.”
The introduction of the new course is in reaction to a new fee cap set by the Institute for Apprenticeships ruling that businesses can spend no more than £18,000 of their allowance for apprenticeships on Level 7 Senior Leader Degree Apprenticeship programmes. Companies booked on courses that exceed £18,000 will have to pay the difference from other funds.
Smaller businesses will continue to have access to funds to cover 90 per cent of Apprenticeship training. In a recent PwC survey, nearly a fifth of small businesses viewed skill shortages as the biggest barrier to productivity in their workforce. Aston University, which has a long history of working with businesses to improve their workforces, believes that degree apprenticeships can help address these shortages and transform their staff into future leaders.