Overspending, underpayments, and the return of the Master Craftsman.

This is your Best Apprenticeships weekly news roundup 28/03/19…

A first for UK degree apprenticeships.

From April, Sheffield Hallam University will become the first institution in the UK to offer degree apprenticeships in Physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

The intensive 30-month courses will see students attend up to six, two-week study blocks per year within the University’s award winning teaching facilities, whist the remaining time will be spent applying their learning directly within the workplace.

Over the next academic year, the University will welcome its 1,000th apprentice and is on target to host over 2,000 apprentices by the end of 2020.

For more information about these upcoming courses, please visit the SHU website.

Officials quizzed over imminent apprenticeship budget overspend.

Jonathan Slater, the Department for Education’s permanent secretary, was one of a number high-profile government officials questioned by the Public Accounts Committee this week on the affordability of the current apprenticeship programme.

This comes following a recent National Audit Office report which warned the apprenticeships budget will shortly be “constrained”.

FE Week reported back in December that the apprenticeship budget could be in trouble, after finding out the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education estimated that it could be overspent by £0.5 billion this year, rising to £1.5 billion during 2021/22.

Interrogations into the apprenticeships budget continue this week.

Think-tank suggests new titles could boost apprenticeship status.

Using different titles for the varying types of apprenticeships would help to boost the prestige of higher level qualifications, a new report has suggested.

The Social Market Foundation think-tank, has argued in a new report that apprenticeships should bring back the medieval terminology of “master craftsman” to boost their status.

People who complete apprenticeships in Austria and Germany have an option to obtain a master crafts-person qualification. The report argues that similar terminology should be adopted to describe apprenticeships in Britain.

While apprenticeships do already distinguish by level, assigning them recognisable and prestigious titles could help boost their value in the labour market.

What do you think? Let us know on Twitter.

Investigations into apprenticeship levy underpayment doubles.

PeopleManagement.co.uk has reported that the number of organisations being investigated for underpayment of the apprenticeship levy has more than doubled in a year.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by national accountancy group UHY Hacker Young found Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has launched 84 separate investigations in 2018/19, up from 33 the year before.

Read the full story here.

Feeling inspired? Why not check out our current apprenticeship roles.