Higher and degree apprenticeships

We are developing a range of employer-led higher and degree apprenticeships in areas including digital technologies, engineering, health and social care, law and journalism. To do this, we’re working directly with employers, building on our strong track record of partnership with business and industry. If you don’t see what you're looking for below, contact us to see how we can work with you.

Apprenticeships include:

Coming soon:

  • Control/Technical Support Engineer (Automotive)
  • Electrical/Electronic Support Engineer
  • Manufacturing Engineer (Automotive)
  • Nursing Associate

What are higher and degree apprenticeships?

Higher and degree apprenticeships combine work with studying for a work-based higher education level qualification.

This government initiative enables you, as an employer, to get significant funding towards the cost of an apprenticeship – to recruit new staff or develop existing employees.

Higher and degree apprenticeships are developed by employers – for employers and employees; they deliver high level, highly sought-after skills while offering employees an alternative to a traditional degree course.

Apprentices gain technical knowledge and practical experience by combining on-the-job training with flexible study towards a higher education qualification, from the equivalent of a foundation degree to a full bachelor’s or master’s degree in some sectors.

The government has committed considerable funding to higher and degree apprenticeships so there has never been a better time to get involved.

Higher and degree apprenticeships - the basics

Apprenticeship funding and the apprenticeship levy

Key facts

  • - The way that apprenticeships are funded in England is changing from April 2017.
  • - Employers with a pay bill in excess of £3million per annum will be required to pay the apprenticeship levy (around 1.3% of employers).
  • - The levy will be charged at a rate of 0.5% of total pay bill, paid through PAYE.
  • - Levy paying employers will be able to use their levy funds to purchase apprenticeship training through the government’s new digital system.
  • - Levy funds will be available in digital accounts from May 2017, plus a 10% monthly government top-up.
  • - Funds in digital accounts will expire after 24 months if not spent on approved apprenticeships.
  • - For non-levy paying employers, the government will pay 90% of apprenticeship training and assessment costs, while employers pay only 10%.
  • - Levy paying employers who do not have sufficient funds in their digital account at any point will also be eligible for the 90% government funding.

Additional incentives

  • - Extra payments of £1,000 will be made to both employer and provider for 16-18 year olds and 19-24 year olds formerly in care or with an Education, Health & Care Plan.
  • - The government will also pay 100% of apprenticeship training costs for small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees) who take on apprentices aged 16-18 years old or 19-24 year olds formerly in care or with an Education, Health & Care Plan.

Apprenticeship funding: how it will work

Apprenticeship Reforms and Key Information for Employers

Registration for the online apprenticeship service is now open

The Department for Education and the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) are encouraging large employers to sign up and register for the apprenticeship service, in readiness for the launch of the apprenticeship levy on 6 April 2017.

The apprenticeship service is an online digital system (similar to online banking) that has been set up to support the apprenticeship levy.

The online service allows you as an employer to financially manage your apprenticeship programme and will help you to estimate your financial spend and recruit apprentices. It will help you to:

  • - focus on your business priorities
  • - address skills shortages head on
  • - invest in the skills and training to help your organisation succeed.

Watch the government's video on how the new apprenticeship service will operate

Step-by-step guide to apprenticeship service for levy payers

Get in touch with our dedicated Apprenticeships Team to find out how we can help you to develop your talented employees and grow their contribution to your organisation's success.

How can you benefit?


  • Tuition fees are paid by a combination of employer and government investment
  • Develop the expertise you need with direct input into the skills provision for your sector
  • Upskill, motivate and retain your existing employees – with no age limit
  • Keep your business up to date with employees who have the latest industry skills and knowledge
  • Apprentices can fill higher-level skill gaps


  • Earn while you learn with no need for a student loan – your fees are paid by the government and your employer
  • Achieve a nationally recognised qualification and gain professional accreditation or membership
  • Develop your career and increase your earning potential
  • Make connections with people in industry to help achieve your future career goals
  • No loans, no debts and no age limit


Work with us

Apprenticeships are led by employer demand. We are keen to work with organisations across all sectors, giving you real input into your sector’s skills provision. We have a track record of delivering work-related education, industry and business partnerships and learn-while-you-earn programmes - find out more here. We have worked with big brands and organisations for decades including GlaxoSmithKline, the NHS and the Metropolitan Police, and developed a modern apprentice partnership with the North East Chamber of Commerce.

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Let us help you develop your talented employees and grow their contribution to your organisation’s success.

We can offer advice and guidance on the changes to delivering apprenticeships – including accessing funding, the apprenticeship levy and apprenticeship incentives. Let us help you develop new trailblazer standards – a partnership between universities, employer groups and professional bodies working to co-design degree apprenticeships, tailored to meet employer needs.

If you have potential work opportunities which could benefit from a higher or degree apprenticeship, or if you are looking to upskill your current staff or recruit new staff, do get in touch. You can find out more about how we can work with you to deliver the higher or degree apprenticeship you need.


Why choose Teesside University?

We are developing higher and degree apprenticeships that are needed by business and industry right now, helping you to increase your skills and knowledge, take advantage of career progression opportunities and reach higher earnings potential.

At Teesside University you benefit from an excellent learning experience while working for your employer, large or small – it gives you the best of both worlds.

Your tuition fees are paid by your employer and the government. And you'll be paid throughout your programme, giving you a debt-free university experience and education.

Customer First

We guarantee quality. All our business services carry the Customer First Standard, a quality mark recognising excellent customer service. And we can also help you source financial support.

Our business service charter sets out our commitment to a professional business service for all our clients.

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