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96% Of UK’s Top 100 Universities Still Don’t Offer Hospitality Degree Apprenticeships

The barriers to unlocking highly skilled workforces and economic growth in the hospitality sector have been uncovered by new research today, which reveals 96% of the UK’s top 100* universities still don’t deliver catering and hospitality degree apprenticeships**

The study was conducted by the University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC) which has over 90 university members and examined the range of job roles students can train for when completing a degree apprenticeship.

Analysis across the 100 universities found that more work is needed if the UK’s higher education (HE) system is going to be in a position to offer every available degree apprenticeship to ensure hospitality employer and student ambition is met.

Of those universities reviewed, the greatest provision of degree apprenticeships is in business and administration subject areas, with 48% of universities offering a programme for those progressing their career in HR, as a business analyst or even as a senior leader. Business and administration courses, such as the CMI Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, make up 18% of the degree apprenticeships offered by the top 100 universities.

It was closely followed by health and science (45%) which provides a pathway into roles such as a pharmacist or registered nurse. The third biggest subject area is digital and IT (36%) which offers a work-based route into roles such as software developer or data scientist.

The lowest provision of degree apprenticeships is within law and legal studies with only 3% providing them in that area.

Dr. Mandy Crawford-Lee, chief executive for UVAC commented: “Giant strides have been made to ensure the UK’s traditionally recognised top 100 universities are meeting the needs of students and employers by maximising their contribution to the provision of degree apprenticeships. In the last academic year alone, degree apprenticeship starts increased by 9% compared to the previous year. Yet our research reveals there is still scope for far greater provision, given their proven impact on improving social mobility, addressing the skills gaps and shortages across public and private sector organisations and bolstering the wider economy.

“UVAC recognises that delivering catering or hospitality-based degree apprenticeships brings with it concerns around cost, employer engagement and regulatory requirements, preventing some universities from committing further. We still remain hugely optimistic, given the blueprint has been set by organisations such as the Russell Group, as more than half of its research-intensive universities provide 500 employers and over 2,100 apprentices with higher and degree apprenticeships in cities such as Exeter, Leeds and Sheffield.

“Moving forwards, we view the provision of higher and degree apprenticeships delivered by higher education as essential to levelling up regions and reducing the skills gap. Our research shows that there is still capacity within our UK institutions to both deliver more degree apprenticeships and diversify into new industries and occupations. I believe universities provide a cutting-edge and aspirational approach that is continually helping raise the status of all types of apprenticeship across the UK.”