‘A’ Level Exam Results day 2017 has arrived, with all the associated extremes of emotion, celebration and despair. It has become traditional over past years to see August news reports of jubilant teenagers, as well as a plethora of advice about how to cope with disappointment and what to do next.
Many of those logging on with trepidation on Thursday August 17 to see if their dreams were about to come true (or their nightmares become a reality) will go on to degree courses that will be evaluated by more exams, culminating in Finals.
But what if they didn’t have to take exams at all?
Now that employers are able to offer Degree Apprenticeships, giving the opportunity to earn a wage and study for a work-related degree at the same time, there is another alternative for those with A Levels (or equivalent) to consider.
Our Degree and Higher Apprenticeships are rigorously assessed – but not through examinations. Apprentices’ work is regularly evaluated throughout their apprenticeship by us as their Higher Education provider in conjunction with their employer. They also compile a portfolio that demonstrates their learning and development activities together with application in the workplace.
Each new Standard approved for an individual apprenticeship by the Department for Education contains an end-point assessment plan tailored to that particular subject. The assessment approach ensures that apprentices meet the skills, knowledge and behaviour outcomes as defined in the Standard.
For example, the End Point Assessment for the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) reviews the apprentice’s portfolio of evidence and a work-based project, as well as evaluating a presentation and conducting an interview.
The CMDA provides a blend of employer-defined skills, knowledge and behaviour outcomes that are integrated and assessed as part of a management degree. At the end of the four-year programme, our CMDA apprentices gain an honours degree from Coventry University as well as the highest professional qualification: Chartered Manager status awarded by the Chartered Management Institute.
Writing in FE News, Skills Funding Agency Director Sue Husband says:
“Degree Apprenticeships now enable employers to present a real alternative to university for those receiving their A Level results, or indeed for those thinking further ahead to their future career choices. Degree Apprenticeships mean businesses can train more of their employees in the high-level industry-specific skills that are critical for business growth. These apprenticeships, co-created between universities and employers, bring even more opportunities for young people, and their potential employers. Enabling organisations to train a dynamic workforce while offering a valued and recognised qualification for its employees.”
Many young people will now be considering the next step to take in education or employment. At the same time, many large employers are looking at how to invest their Apprenticeship Levy. This is the ideal opportunity to engage the new generation of Higher and Degree Apprentices.