How earn as you learn apprenticeship degrees benefit pupils

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The options for ‘Earn as you learn’ apprenticeship degrees have just improved, considerably.

For those students (or their parents) who’ve previously agonised over whether to progress go off to university or straight into paid work, the partnership announced today will be welcome news.

The first “earn as you learn” degree has been launched by a Russell Group University with Exeter University being the first over the line, announcing a partnership with J. P. Morgan the investment bank.

Apprenticeships – Work, study and get paid

Students who enrol on the “degree apprenticeship” course will study for one day a week, and the rest time they will be placed in one of J. P. Morgan’s teams earning a salary of £21,000 per year in London or £17,000 in Bournemouth.

After three and a half years, they will graduate with an undergraduate degree in Applied Finance at Exeter, as well as two professional qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments (CISI).

Independent Schools Council support

Barnaby Lenon, chair of the Independent Schools Council,  said it is “wonderful news” that a Russell Group university is now offering a degree apprenticeship, adding that this will be a “very attractive offer” for bright and ambitious 18-year-olds.  

This will be a good option for a proportion of students who don’t feel a full-time university would suit them, but would prefer to develop their studies further.

For private independent school students too

Mr Lenon, a former headmaster of Harrow School and a stalwart proponent of cost effective education, “You won’t end up with £50,000 of debt and you are getting a job with a very good company,” he said. 

He has previously highlighted how private school pupils (and therefore their parents in respect of financial support) can be wrongly forced into deciding upon university because ‘everyone else is doing it’ with alternatives deemed a “disgrace” and a “failure”.

Competition for good students

Barnaby Lenon also raises the possibility that good students might be ‘cherry-picked’ to bring them onto these courses.

“The question is whether there will now be an explosion in the number of degree apprenticeships, as universities start worrying they will be missing out on good students. It is partly a competitive mechanism by which companies and universities get some of the best students.”

Phillip Paige, executive director at J.P. Morgan, said the new scheme is a “game-changer”.  He added:

“Many of our apprentices have told us that they would like to receive a degree and this is an opportunity for us to give a diverse group of people the benefit of an Exeter University education.”

You can read the full article by Camilla Turner, education editor The Telegraph’s website.

What about your children? Would you, or are you considering an apprenticeship as the next step for their education at 18+?

Comment below and let’s hear how people view this further education opportunity.

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