Digital skills in apprenticeships

This study will investigate the digital skills obtained through higher or tertiary level apprenticeships and estimate their value in the labour market.

In April 2017, the government introduced the Apprenticeship Levy to encourage employers to create and fund new apprenticeships, now logged through the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. Since the Levy there has been both a reduction in Intermediate Apprenticeships (equivalent to 5 ‘good’ GCSEs) and an increasing number of Advanced (Level 3 qualifications) and Higher (tertiary) Apprenticeships offered.

At present, there is very little systematic knowledge about these new apprenticeships. Researchers will conduct a systematic review of national and international evidence on higher level apprenticeships. The researchers will then collate data on apprenticeships offered in England to identify patterns in provision. This will include exploratory analysis to understand the apprentices’ role, tasks, and responsibilities, wages, expected duration, targeted skills, and occupation upon completion.

As information on earnings outcomes from these new apprenticeships will not be available for some years the researchers will evaluate the likely impact on earnings by linking data on the apprenticeships offered with current earnings data for occupations requiring the relevant skills.

Findings will provide a detailed profile of skills obtained through apprenticeships, particularly digital skills, and the likely demand from the UK economy in the 2020s.

Timescale and Funder

July 2019 - March 2021

Nuffield Foundation

Research programmes