Employees in an office environment

An employer's guide

Empower staff and ensure your business stays competitive.

Support your staff with a degree apprenticeship.

Contact us 

Make an enquiry     Email us     Call us

Degree apprenticeships are a cost effective way to attract and retain talented employees, develop your workforce, fill skills gaps and improve your company's performance. They're suitable for any organisation, from small businesses to multinational corporations.

Degree apprenticeships provide training and higher-level qualifications to individuals who might not otherwise engage in traditional routes to higher education. We find that apprentices tend to be eager, motivated and flexible, both in work and study. 

Apprentices learn skills they can apply straightaway in their jobs. And, on completion they'll have a full Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. 

They'll typically study on campus 1 day a week or fortnight on day release or via block release - a 4-day week, 3 times a year. Apprentices will also access our virtual learning environment to study independently. Depending on the course, a degree apprenticeship lasts 1 to 5 years.

Each employer and organisation's requirements are different - get in touch to discuss your specific needs.

T: +44 (0)23 9284 8599    E: degree-apprenticeships@port.ac.uk

Female Degree Apprentice

Top reasons to implement apprenticeships

  • provide opportunities and recognition to loyal staff.
  • increase organisational efficiency and effectiveness.
  • develop skills and flexibility in your workforce.
  • enhance specialist knowledge and skills.
  • keep pace with the latest tech and working practices.
  • to strengthen corporate and social responsibility.
Ian Cooper

Employer feedback

“The Senior Leadership course content and tasks have been an excellent fit with our business requirements and needs.

Nic's applied this to strategy analysis and development effectively and productively. And, is now demonstrating leadership and communication skills in abundance”

Ian Cooper, Senior Director of Operations at Curtiss-Wright

Degree Apprenticeships working for you

See how we can support your organisation. 

Are you an employer that pays the apprenticeship levy and are you getting the most from it?

The apprenticeship levy covers the full costs of the training and the employer pays the apprentices salary.

The apprentice has to be released for 20 per cent of their time so usually one day a week at the University and then four days a week in the work place.

Recruiting an apprentice gives you access to motivated, loyal individuals, with 71 per cent of apprentices staying with the employer they did their apprenticeship with. It gives you access to a much wider talent pool.

We can help you get there. We can help with job descriptions, shortlisting and interviewing, giving you everything that you need to make sure that you're ready.

Degree apprenticeships are not just about attracting new talent, they can work for your own staff too.

They can fill skills gaps, further develop your team and improve your organisations performance.

I think there are a lot of benefits of  hiring an apprenticeships into any business. It's really allowed us to access a new group of people to bring into the business to help them learn their skills but also to help us be more effective when we're working with young people.

At the University of Portsmouth, we offer level 6 undergraduate and level 7 postgraduate degree apprenticeships. These include Civil Engineering, MBA Senior Leadership, Business Management and Architecture. We're always looking to develop more degree apprenticeships which work with you. We work with a number of big employers. These include the multinational companies and small medium enterprises.

I hope that's given you food for thought. If you'd like to know more about our growing portfolio of degree apprenticeships, contact us today.

Why partner with us?

You'll be assigned a dedicated account manager who'll act as your point of contact at every stage.

We're well connected

We have strong relationships with business and industry through our research, innovation and knowledge transfer partnerships, job placements and graduate employment schemes.

This experience equips us to develop Bachelor's and Master's degree apprenticeships that meet the needs of your business and workforce.

Shape your apprentice’s degree programme

As an employer, you can collaborate with us to design and influence training that delivers the right skills for your workforce. Our apprenticeships are developed in collaboration with employer partners.

We consult our partners on delivery models, curriculum content and the latest technologies. So, you can be sure your apprentices will fulfil professional standards.

Support at every step

Every employer and apprentice get the support of a dedicated team: account manager, academic link and work-based tutor. This ensures a smooth onboarding, well-coordinated placements and seamless link between on- and off-the-job training. 

Apprentices gain a range of new and essential knowledge, skills and behaviours. High quality pastoral support helps them achieve the right balance between work and study.

Degree apprenticeship requirements

To offer degree apprenticeships you'll need to provide your degree apprentices with a formal contract of employment and pay a salary.

Study leave

Apprentices must spend at least 20% of their contracted hours learning, away from their normal day-to-day work environment.

This also applies in periods when they won't be attending university, such as the summer break.

The employer and University, are equally responsible for ensuring students take part in off-the-job training.


To be eligible, apprentices need to have lived in the UK or EU for three years prior to starting their apprenticeship.

They must also have the right to work in the UK and meet the University's entry requirements.

Once you've confirmed that you're willing to support your employee in their studies, we'll ask them to complete an application form to fully assess their academic and professional suitability for the course.

Academic standards

We'll carry out an initial assessment with apprentices to ensure they meet the level of English and maths required to complete the degree.

We offer extra support to apprentices with learning difficulties - they’ll get access to the same personal and academic support services as our full-time university students.

Funding degree apprenticeships

Our dedicated team are on hand to support you with understanding and accessing your Government funding.

Upskill your workforce for less

Degree apprenticeships are an affordable way to develop your staff as they’re funded by your apprenticeship levy account or heavily subsidised by the Government.

Levy-paying organisations

If your organisation has an annual pay bill of more than £3 million, you can use your apprenticeship levy funding to pay.

Our team can guide your through the process of using your Levey funds advise how to access this from your Digital Apprenticeship Service account.  

Non levy paying organisations 

If your organisation's annual pay bill is less than £3 million, the Government subsidises up to 95% of degree apprenticeship costs. 

If your business has fewer than 50 employees, the Government pays 100% of the cost if, at the start of the apprenticeship, the degree apprentice is:

  • aged 16-18.
  • aged 19-24 and has a local authority education, health and care plan (EHC plan).

For apprentices aged 16-18 or 19-24 (with an EHC plan), both the employer and training provider will get an extra incentive of £1,000 to support the apprentice in their studies.

Degree apprentice salaries

  • Degree apprenticeship salaries start around £12,000–£18,000 a year. This is set by you as the employer.
  • Salaries must exceed or match the national minimum wage.
  • Existing employees usually remain on their current salary during a degree apprenticeship.

Other costs

  • There may be some minor costs not covered by Government funding.
  • These costs vary depending on which degree apprenticeship programme your employees do. We'll help you understand and plan for these costs.

Other ways to train your workforce

Work-based Bachelor's and Master's degrees

Develop staff and increase motivation through work-based degrees.

Degree apprentice
Find out how

CPD and short courses

Support staff to upskill through our CPD and short courses developed by industry experts.

Read more

Bespoke training for organisations

Collaborate with us to develop custom-made CPD training courses for your employees.

15/11/21.Degree Apprenticeships ..All Rights Reserved - Helen Yates- T: +44 (0)7790805960.Local copyright law applies to all print & online usage. Fees charged will comply with standard space rates and usage for that country, region or state.
Read more