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UK government set to pull plug on MBA apprenticeships

A controversial MBA apprenticeship plan that authorized firms in England to ship senior executives to company college with money earmarked for on-the-occupation education is established to be axed.

The go to scrap the qualification was discovered when the Institute for Apprenticeships and Specialized Education, which administers apprenticeship criteria, printed a revised list of apprenticeship criteria pursuing suggestions from employers with all reference to MBAs eradicated.

The selection is predicted to be confirmed in early June when the authorities is due to publish a assessment of MBA apprenticeships. 

The inclusion of MBAs as component of the government’s apprenticeship plan was widely criticised as it diverted a massive proportion of the funding away from workplace education. The funding for apprenticeships will come from a levy launched in 2017 that needs employers with once-a-year wage expenses higher than £3m to established aside an equal of .five for every of their payroll.

Below levy policies, employers are offered manage about which qualifications can be classed as apprenticeships. Authorised strategies selection from stage-two GCSE-equal classes for college leavers, this sort of as education for shop workers, to diploma-stage roles, this sort of as lawyers and nurses.

The MBA was bundled as a component of the stage-7 senior chief occupational standard.

Below the adjustments, employers will nonetheless be authorized to shell out the levy on significant-stage management education but it would be much less eye-catching as members would no for a longer period acquire a masters diploma at the end of the programme.

Critics argued the MBA plan was an abuse of the apprenticeship levy. In the first complete 12 months just after the levy was launched in April 2017, there were 375,800 new apprenticeship begins, a 26 for every cent fall on the very same period in 2015/16.

Even so, the proportion of higher-stage apprenticeships, equal to bachelor’s levels and higher than, greater from five.three for every cent to 12.eight for every cent during this period.

A research by FE Week journal calculated that there were six,387 begins on MBA apprenticeship programmes up to the end of the first quarter of 2019/20. Specified that every single of these classes can acquire 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, chief govt of the institute, experienced as a short while ago as January defended the MBA programme, which she explained crammed competencies gaps recognized by employers.

Even so, the most current suggestions from employers has shown a shift in impression. “The employer group have built a crystal clear recommendation, which we are now consulting on,” the IfATE explained.

The Division for Education explained: “The education and learning secretary is fully commited to protecting an employer-led technique, but is not persuaded the levy ought to be used to pay for workers, who are usually already remarkably capable and remarkably paid out, to acquire an MBA.”

Enterprise schools, which have benefited most from the development in bachelor’s and masters-stage diploma apprenticeships, expressed disappointment at the selection to remove the capability to attain an MBA by means of levy funding.

“Better supervisors is what this nation desperately demands,” explained Anne Kiem, chief govt of the Chartered Association of Enterprise Universities, which signifies the Uk sector.

“Taking the qualification out of the senior chief standard helps make it extremely unattractive for most of those people who have signed up for it to date.”