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UK government set to pull plug on MBA apprenticeships

A controversial MBA apprenticeship plan that allowed businesses in England to send out senior executives...

A controversial MBA apprenticeship plan that allowed businesses in England to send out senior executives to enterprise faculty with revenue earmarked for on-the-career education is established to be axed.

The transfer to scrap the qualification was uncovered when the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Schooling, which administers apprenticeship expectations, revealed a revised listing of apprenticeship expectations subsequent opinions from employers with all reference to MBAs eradicated.

The determination is anticipated to be confirmed in early June when the federal government is because of to publish a overview of MBA apprenticeships. 

The inclusion of MBAs as aspect of the government’s apprenticeship plan was widely criticised as it diverted a massive proportion of the funding absent from place of work education. The funding for apprenticeships comes from a levy launched in 2017 that requires employers with yearly wage expenditures earlier mentioned £3m to established apart an equivalent of .five for every of their payroll.

Under levy procedures, employers are supplied management in excess of which qualifications can be classed as apprenticeships. Authorized schemes assortment from level-two GCSE-equivalent programs for faculty leavers, these kinds of as education for store staff, to degree-level roles, these kinds of as lawyers and nurses.

The MBA was involved as a aspect of the level-seven senior leader occupational standard.

Under the changes, employers will nonetheless be allowed to spend the levy on superior-level leadership education but it would be significantly less desirable as contributors would no for a longer time obtain a masters degree at the end of the programme.

Critics argued the MBA plan was an abuse of the apprenticeship levy. In the 1st comprehensive 12 months after the levy was launched in April 2017, there ended up 375,800 new apprenticeship starts off, a 26 for every cent drop on the very same interval in 2015/sixteen.

However, the proportion of better-level apprenticeships, equivalent to bachelor’s degrees and earlier mentioned, increased from five.3 for every cent to twelve.eight for every cent throughout this interval.

A study by FE 7 days magazine calculated that there ended up 6,387 starts off on MBA apprenticeship programmes up to the end of the 1st quarter of 2019/20. Provided that every single of these programs can obtain up to £18,000 from the apprenticeship levy pot, up to £115m experienced been put in on the standard in that fiscal 12 months.

Jennifer Coupland, main executive of the institute, experienced as lately as January defended the MBA programme, which she claimed stuffed abilities gaps identified by employers.

However, the most recent opinions from employers has revealed a shift in opinion. “The employer team have created a distinct suggestion, which we are now consulting on,” the IfATE claimed.

The Division for Schooling claimed: “The education and learning secretary is dedicated to retaining an employer-led process, but is not persuaded the levy must be made use of to pay out for personnel, who are generally previously really competent and really paid out, to obtain an MBA.”

Small business faculties, which have benefited most from the growth in bachelor’s and masters-level degree apprenticeships, expressed disappointment at the determination to clear away the means to acquire an MBA by way of levy funding.

“Better supervisors is what this nation desperately requirements,” claimed Anne Kiem, main executive of the Chartered Affiliation of Small business Educational facilities, which signifies the Uk sector.

“Taking the qualification out of the senior leader standard makes it quite unattractive for most of individuals who have signed up for it to day.”