UK government set to pull plug on MBA apprenticeships

Jannie Delucca

A controversial MBA apprenticeship plan that authorized corporations in England to ship senior executives to small business faculty with income earmarked for on-the-task teaching is set to be axed.

The go to scrap the qualification was discovered when the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Training, which administers apprenticeship expectations, released a revised list of apprenticeship expectations adhering to suggestions from businesses with all reference to MBAs taken out.

The determination is predicted to be verified in early June when the governing administration is owing to publish a evaluation of MBA apprenticeships. 

The inclusion of MBAs as element of the government’s apprenticeship plan was widely criticised as it diverted a massive proportion of the funding absent from workplace teaching. The funding for apprenticeships arrives from a levy introduced in 2017 that demands businesses with annual wage bills earlier mentioned £3m to set apart an equal of .five for each of their payroll.

Less than levy principles, businesses are provided management around which qualifications can be classed as apprenticeships. Approved schemes array from stage-two GCSE-equal programs for faculty leavers, this kind of as teaching for store personnel, to diploma-stage roles, this kind of as legal professionals and nurses.

The MBA was included as a element of the stage-7 senior leader occupational regular.

Less than the variations, businesses will still be authorized to shell out the levy on higher-stage leadership teaching but it would be considerably less interesting as individuals would no lengthier obtain a masters diploma at the stop of the programme.

Critics argued the MBA plan was an abuse of the apprenticeship levy. In the to start with entire calendar year after the levy was introduced in April 2017, there were being 375,800 new apprenticeship starts off, a 26 for each cent fall on the exact period in 2015/16.

However, the proportion of bigger-stage apprenticeships, equal to bachelor’s levels and earlier mentioned, amplified from five.three for each cent to twelve.8 for each cent for the duration of this period.

A examine by FE Week journal calculated that there were being six,387 starts off on MBA apprenticeship programmes up to the stop of the to start with quarter of 2019/20. Presented that each of these programs can obtain up to £18,000 from the apprenticeship levy pot, up to £115m had been spent on the standard in that fiscal calendar year.

Jennifer Coupland, main govt of the institute, had as a short while ago as January defended the MBA programme, which she claimed stuffed capabilities gaps recognized by businesses.

However, the most recent suggestions from businesses has shown a change in belief. “The employer team have designed a obvious advice, which we are now consulting on,” the IfATE claimed.

The Section for Training claimed: “The education secretary is fully commited to protecting an employer-led method, but is not certain the levy should really be applied to pay for workers, who are frequently now highly competent and highly compensated, to obtain an MBA.”

Business educational facilities, which have benefited most from the progress in bachelor’s and masters-stage diploma apprenticeships, expressed disappointment at the determination to clear away the capacity to achieve an MBA as a result of levy funding.

“Better supervisors is what this state desperately desires,” claimed Anne Kiem, main govt of the Chartered Affiliation of Business Educational facilities, which signifies the Uk sector.

“Taking the qualification out of the senior leader regular would make it really unattractive for most of all those who have signed up for it to day.”

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