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UK government set to pull plug on MBA apprenticeships

A controversial MBA apprenticeship plan that allowed corporations in England to deliver senior executives to business faculty with money earmarked for on-the-job training is established to be axed.

The shift to scrap the qualification was revealed when the Institute for Apprenticeships and Complex Education and learning, which administers apprenticeship expectations, released a revised record of apprenticeship expectations subsequent suggestions from employers with all reference to MBAs taken out.

The choice is envisioned to be verified in early June when the federal government is owing to publish a assessment of MBA apprenticeships. 

The inclusion of MBAs as part of the government’s apprenticeship plan was widely criticised as it diverted a substantial proportion of the funding absent from office training. The funding for apprenticeships comes from a levy introduced in 2017 that calls for employers with yearly wage charges previously mentioned £3m to established aside an equal of .five per of their payroll.

Less than levy regulations, employers are provided manage over which skills can be classed as apprenticeships. Authorised schemes range from stage-two GCSE-equal courses for faculty leavers, these kinds of as training for shop workers, to degree-stage roles, these kinds of as legal professionals and nurses.

The MBA was bundled as a part of the stage-7 senior leader occupational normal.

Less than the changes, employers will however be allowed to spend the levy on higher-stage management training but it would be a lot less appealing as contributors would no for a longer period obtain a masters degree at the stop of the programme.

Critics argued the MBA plan was an abuse of the apprenticeship levy. In the initial whole calendar year soon after the levy was introduced in April 2017, there ended up 375,800 new apprenticeship begins, a 26 per cent fall on the same interval in 2015/sixteen.

Nevertheless, the proportion of better-stage apprenticeships, equal to bachelor’s degrees and previously mentioned, elevated from five.3 per cent to twelve.8 per cent throughout this interval.

A analyze by FE Week journal calculated that there ended up 6,387 begins on MBA apprenticeship programmes up to the stop of the initial quarter of 2019/20. Offered that each individual of these courses can obtain up to £18,000 from the apprenticeship levy pot, up to £115m experienced been invested on the standard in that fiscal calendar year.

Jennifer Coupland, main executive of the institute, experienced as not long ago as January defended the MBA programme, which she said filled skills gaps discovered by employers.

Nevertheless, the latest suggestions from employers has revealed a change in feeling. “The employer team have designed a clear suggestion, which we are now consulting on,” the IfATE said.

The Division for Education and learning said: “The instruction secretary is committed to maintaining an employer-led method, but is not convinced the levy really should be employed to fork out for team, who are typically previously highly capable and highly paid out, to obtain an MBA.”

Company colleges, which have benefited most from the expansion in bachelor’s and masters-stage degree apprenticeships, expressed disappointment at the choice to take out the skill to get an MBA via levy funding.

“Better managers is what this country desperately needs,” said Anne Kiem, main executive of the Chartered Association of Company Universities, which represents the British isles sector.

“Taking the qualification out of the senior leader normal can make it really unattractive for most of those people who have signed up for it to day.”