University restructuring, including online lectures mean that many may now be looking at a different type of learning and one that they will be paid for as well.
For many young people, the University experience is so much more than just learning about a chosen subject, Freshers Week, the student bar and nightclubs as well as living with people from across the country and globe are other reasons to leave home and study but with possible restrictions on all of this and racking up debt the idea of an apprenticeship and earning may offer a solution.
In May, the Government released details of its plans, designed to ‘protect students and the higher education sector from the impact of Coronavirus’. There will be controls on new student numbers for the coming academic year 2020/21 and this may roll over into the following year. The rules state that, if a university does not abide by its student number controls, the Government will reduce the finance available to the provider through the student finance system in the subsequent academic year.’ The government says university students in England will still have to pay full tuition fees even if their courses are taught online. The maximum UK university tuition fee is £9,250 a year and no Universities to date are offering a discount for digitally based learning.
Many young people are now searching for an acceptable plan, and Degree Apprenticeships are coming out on top. The reasons are palpable when you look past the obvious, said Apprenticeship Management Group Director John Henry: “Firstly, you will achieve the same qualification without the debt, then of course money in your pocket when you can finally go out. Apprenticeships mean meeting real people in the work place and when you are able to attend the lecture theatre, whenever that may be, meeting fellow students.”
The Apprenticeship Management Group look after the apprenticeship training programmes and apprenticeship levy for the Electrical Distributors Association, Builders Merchants Federation, British Coating Federation, FIESTA (Furniture and Interiors, Skills and Training Alliance) and water and other utility companies and can now offer their services to businesses of all sizes.
John Henry, who has also lobbied the government, lobbied the education authorities and training providers on behalf of apprenticeships added:“For many, Degree Apprenticeships were always the first choice, but with Covid-19 shaping all of our futures the balance has tipped in their favour for many, many more. Another route being considered by many is the ‘toe in the water’ option being, say a one year level four apprenticeship in Accountancy before taking on a degree in Finance or Business in 2021/22. There are now courses in all sorts of disciplines including a 14 month digital marketing apprenticeship that you could complete before deciding on the type of degree that would really suit you. Learn, Earn and keep the grey matter moving is something we advocate as University is an option that can be revisited when perhaps things return to what we know is the real university life.”