To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which (a) Government departments and (b) other public sector organisations have used the Apprenticeship Levy to fund (i) MBAs and (ii) other academic masters qualifications for staff in each of the last three years; and how many staff have been supported in that way for those qualifications by (i) Government departments and (ii) other public sector organisations in those years.
The data the department publishes on public sector apprenticeships can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/apprenticeships-and-traineeships/2021-22. This shows the average public sector starts between 2017/18 and 2020/21 as a percentage of headcount by sector. Public bodies in scope of the target are required to submit an annual return to the department by the end of September. The information collected is limited to employee headcounts and overall apprentice numbers. The department expects to publish data for the 2021/22 public sector target in our apprenticeships and traineeships full 2021/22 academic year release in November. The department does not hold data in the format requested on whether public sector organisations, including other government departments, have utilised government funding for apprenticeships that include either an MBA or other academic masters qualification. The data reported by public sector organisations does not include a breakdown by level or standard.
An MBA is not a mandatory qualification in any current apprenticeship standard. A mandatory master’s level qualification, which could have included an MBA, was previously included in the Level 7 Senior Leader standard but was removed in March 2021. This followed a request to the Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, to review the standard to make sure all apprenticeships represent value for money and that government funding supports those who can benefit the most from our high-quality apprenticeships.
Of the 647 apprenticeship standards developed by employers, 56 are at Level 7, which is equivalent to master’s level, and 27 of these have a mandatory degree qualification. Details of apprenticeship standards can be found here: https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/?includeApprovedForDelivery=true.
In the 2020/21 academic year there were 19,570 apprenticeship starts at Level 7 which represented 6% of total starts for the year.