UK government set to pull plug on MBA apprenticeships

A controversial MBA apprenticeship scheme that allowed firms in England to mail senior executives to business school with dollars earmarked for on-the-task education is established to be axed.

The shift to scrap the qualification was discovered when the Institute for Apprenticeships and Specialized Education and learning, which administers apprenticeship benchmarks, released a revised checklist of apprenticeship benchmarks pursuing comments from employers with all reference to MBAs taken off.

The final decision is expected to be verified in early June when the federal government is because of to publish a evaluate of MBA apprenticeships. 

The inclusion of MBAs as section of the government’s apprenticeship scheme was widely criticised as it diverted a huge proportion of the funding away from workplace education. The funding for apprenticeships comes from a levy introduced in 2017 that requires employers with annual wage bills higher than £3m to established apart an equal of .five for every of their payroll.

Beneath levy regulations, employers are given management above which skills can be classed as apprenticeships. Authorised techniques vary from amount-two GCSE-equal courses for school leavers, this sort of as education for shop employees, to diploma-amount roles, this sort of as legal professionals and nurses.

The MBA was bundled as a section of the amount-seven senior chief occupational conventional.

Beneath the changes, employers will nevertheless be allowed to expend the levy on large-amount management education but it would be significantly less attractive as members would no longer get a masters diploma at the conclusion of the programme.

Critics argued the MBA scheme was an abuse of the apprenticeship levy. In the first total year soon after the levy was introduced in April 2017, there have been 375,800 new apprenticeship starts off, a 26 for every cent fall on the exact period in 2015/sixteen.

Even so, the proportion of bigger-amount apprenticeships, equal to bachelor’s degrees and higher than, greater from five.three for every cent to twelve.8 for every cent in the course of this period.

A analyze by FE 7 days magazine calculated that there have been 6,387 starts off on MBA apprenticeship programmes up to the conclusion of the first quarter of 2019/20. Presented that every of these courses can get up to £18,000 from the apprenticeship levy pot, up to £115m experienced been invested on the standard in that fiscal year.

Jennifer Coupland, chief govt of the institute, experienced as not too long ago as January defended the MBA programme, which she mentioned filled techniques gaps determined by employers.

Even so, the latest comments from employers has proven a shift in viewpoint. “The employer team have created a clear suggestion, which we are now consulting on,” the IfATE mentioned.

The Department for Education and learning mentioned: “The instruction secretary is committed to retaining an employer-led process, but is not convinced the levy need to be utilised to fork out for personnel, who are typically currently very certified and very paid out, to get an MBA.”

Business universities, which have benefited most from the advancement in bachelor’s and masters-amount diploma apprenticeships, expressed disappointment at the final decision to take away the ability to achieve an MBA by way of levy funding.

“Better administrators is what this place desperately requires,” mentioned Anne Kiem, chief govt of the Chartered Association of Business Schools, which signifies the United kingdom sector.

“Taking the qualification out of the senior chief conventional helps make it quite unattractive for most of all those who have signed up for it to day.”