UK government set to pull plug on MBA apprenticeships

Elvera Bartels

A controversial MBA apprenticeship scheme that permitted companies in England to ship senior executives to enterprise university with cash earmarked for on-the-work education is established to be axed.

The shift to scrap the qualification was exposed when the Institute for Apprenticeships and Specialized Instruction, which administers apprenticeship requirements, published a revised listing of apprenticeship requirements subsequent feedback from businesses with all reference to MBAs eradicated.

The selection is anticipated to be verified in early June when the federal government is because of to publish a evaluation of MBA apprenticeships. 

The inclusion of MBAs as portion of the government’s apprenticeship scheme was widely criticised as it diverted a huge proportion of the funding absent from workplace education. The funding for apprenticeships will come from a levy released in 2017 that involves businesses with once-a-year wage charges above £3m to established aside an equal of .5 per of their payroll.

Beneath levy policies, businesses are specified control more than which skills can be classed as apprenticeships. Accredited schemes selection from amount-two GCSE-equal courses for university leavers, these as education for store personnel, to diploma-amount roles, these as legal professionals and nurses.

The MBA was incorporated as a portion of the amount-7 senior chief occupational normal.

Beneath the improvements, businesses will nonetheless be permitted to shell out the levy on higher-amount leadership education but it would be less interesting as individuals would no for a longer period get a masters diploma at the close of the programme.

Critics argued the MBA scheme was an abuse of the apprenticeship levy. In the initial whole 12 months after the levy was released in April 2017, there were being 375,800 new apprenticeship commences, a 26 per cent drop on the similar time period in 2015/16.

On the other hand, the proportion of greater-amount apprenticeships, equal to bachelor’s levels and above, greater from 5.3 per cent to 12.8 per cent through this time period.

A research by FE Week magazine calculated that there were being 6,387 commences on MBA apprenticeship programmes up to the close of the initial quarter of 2019/20. Provided that every single of these courses can get up to £18,000 from the apprenticeship levy pot, up to £115m experienced been spent on the standard in that fiscal 12 months.

Jennifer Coupland, main executive of the institute, experienced as just lately as January defended the MBA programme, which she explained loaded expertise gaps recognized by businesses.

On the other hand, the most recent feedback from businesses has revealed a shift in feeling. “The employer team have produced a clear recommendation, which we are now consulting on,” the IfATE explained.

The Section for Instruction explained: “The schooling secretary is fully commited to maintaining an employer-led program, but is not certain the levy really should be employed to pay for team, who are usually currently really competent and really compensated, to get an MBA.”

Business schools, which have benefited most from the growth in bachelor’s and masters-amount diploma apprenticeships, expressed disappointment at the selection to eliminate the skill to achieve an MBA by way of levy funding.

“Better managers is what this nation desperately needs,” explained Anne Kiem, main executive of the Chartered Affiliation of Business Schools, which signifies the British isles sector.

“Taking the qualification out of the senior chief normal will make it extremely unattractive for most of these who have signed up for it to day.”

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