The first cohort of masters level degree apprenticeship students have started their MBA course at the Liverpool Business School.
The new masters students are currently employed by companies including the NHS, GMT Computer Ltd, Data Law and Village Software.
Degree apprenticeships enable staff to train and develop their skills while continuing to work.
Corporate director at Liverpool Business School Anthony Sturgess said: “Chartered Management Institute reports have highlighted the tendency for UK businesses to rely upon ‘accidental managers’ who have not been given the education and training support to manage effectively.
“We want to attract organisations that have the vision and the drive to invest and educate their leaders and managers.”
He added: “Government reports emphasize the need to raise leadership and management capability in the UK if the country is to compete in the global economy. “Our leaders and managers must be equipped to rise to this challenge.
“We’re speaking with organisations across the region, large and small, understanding their needs, their skill gaps and having serious discussions about how our master level-apprenticeships can improve their businesses and current working practices.”
Liverpool Business School offers a tailored approach to learning with an initial consultation taking place between both learner and employer before each programme begins to ensure both parties get the most out of the experience.
Students can base assignments around actual workplace projects as part of their course, putting into practice methods they have learned on the job.
Employer and learner support is embedded throughout the programme, with regular workplace visits and learner coaching.
Anthony said: “The programme is personalized to individual needs, while also customized to the unique circumstances of each business.
“We are hoping to build a network of effective managers and leaders across the North West who can respond to the opportunities in the region and beyond.”
The UK Government launched the degree apprenticeship scheme alongside a multimillion pound fund to enable businesses, both large and small, to sponsor learners of any age to work towards a masters or degree programme alongside a salaried job.
Senior developer at Village Software Michael Banner said: “I've naturally fallen into a managerial position as the company has expanded.
“The process of studying whilst continuing to work is important for me, partly for financial reasons, but also because it allows me to keep in touch with the company.
“The idea behind the apprentice degree allows me to study the concepts surrounding business administration, whilst applying the theory to my day-to-day role and critically reviewing it all from the perspectives as an academic and professional practitioner.”
Masters level apprenticeships are an opportunity for businesses to maximise the resources they are paying into their levy by upskilling existing managers and mid-career professionals in line with Chartered Management Institute standards.
The training costs will be paid from the levy contribution, but once this has been spent any further training will be co-funded by the government.
Training for non-levy paying organisations may also be co-funded by the government, following a bid submission by LJMU.
Government co-funding could potentially save businesses 90 per cent of the training costs.
Liverpool Business School offers three masters level apprenticeships:
- MBA Business Administration, which equips managers with a broad and rich understanding of business and how to lead and manage effectively in their organisations
- MSc Leadership and Management Practice is for employees who want to focus in even greater depth on their practice as managers and leaders
- MBA Business Scale-ups, which supports managers and businesses with the potential to grow, realise opportunities and scale their operations
There are currently places available for the next masters level degree apprenticeship intake, which is for the MBA Business Scale-ups programme commencing in May 2018.
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