Degree Apprenticeships for employers

An innovative approach to developing future-ready talent in your organisation.

ARU is one of the UK’s leading providers of degree apprenticeships and in the top 10% HE providers in the country for skills and enterprise. Over 330 regional and national employers have chosen to partner with ARU on apprenticeships for our collaborative approach to working.

We offer a comprehensive range of degree level courses that are designed to fulfil your workforce needs whilst providing exciting career development opportunities for your apprentices.

We will attract and develop high calibre apprentices who will bring talent, skills, energy and diversity to your organisation as well as; developing and retaining your existing staff.

Why partner with ARU?

If you have any questions or would like to discuss any aspect of degree apprenticeships, then our dedicated Degrees at Work team are here to help. Get in touch today at

Our courses

Driven by employer demand, we offer Degree Apprenticeships in Management and Leadership; Digital Technology and Data Science; Health; the Built Environment; Public Services and more.

Explore our Degree Apprenticeships

Key information

What are the benefits to my organisation?

Degree apprenticeships offer participating employers a wide range of advantages. The benefits to employers engaging with degree apprenticeships are extensive. For example, your organisation can:

  • Shape your business for the future
  • Reinvest the Apprenticeship Levy funds in your organisation’s skills and learning priorities
  • Retain the most valuable people, by encouraging them to grow and develop with your organisation
  • Attract high calibre apprentices who bring talent, skills, vibrancy and diversity to your organisation
  • Reduce the cost of attrition, while improving.
  • Diversify your workforce and widen your talent pools.
  • Benefit from learning tailored to your workplace.
  • Gain access to funding for additional apprenticeships.
  • Establish your company as an ‘employer of choice’ – an organisation that invests in developing the skills, qualifications and long-term careers of its workforce.

Our dedicated Degrees at Work team will be on hand to help and advise you throughout the entire process. Our apprenticeship experts will help you decide if degree apprenticeships are right for your business, get you started and provide ongoing support throughout the life of the apprenticeship.

How does a Degree Apprenticeship work in practice?

An approach to ‘up‑skilling’ that benefits the employer and the employee.

The degree apprentice is an employee who also studies part-time with our university. He or she can be an existing team member, or a new recruit of any age and at any point in their career. So, your organisation will gain a highly-skilled graduate with high level academic qualifications, up-to-the minute skills and an intimate working knowledge of your business and culture.

Sponsoring a degree apprentice will help you to fill the skills gaps in your workforce and to develop your existing talent through relevant degree courses – all with the aid of the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy funding arrangements.

Effective recruitment, talent retention, boosting staff morale, planning individual career developments, the enhancement of technical prowess – these are just some of the benefits you can expect from these transformational programmes.

What will a Degree Apprenticeship cost my business?

In May 2017 the Government changed the funding structure for apprenticeships in England.

The levy for large businesses

If you operate in England and your annual payroll is over £3 million, you pay a levy of 0.5% of your payroll into a Digital Account.

To reclaim this money, you must use it specifically for apprenticeship programmes.

Employers get their money back – and more

The Government will top up the employer’s account with a 10% bonus, so effectively you will draw £1.10 for every £1.00 you put in.

Funding for smaller organisations

If your organisation is not required to pay the levy, you will only pay 5% of the cost of the apprenticeship programme while the government pays the remaining 95%. Some very small organisations may be eligible for 100% of the cost to be funded by the government.

From 1st August 2020 there is additional government funding available to support with the recruitment of new apprentices. Employers will receive £2,000 for each new apprentice aged 16-24 and £1,500 for those who are 25 and over. Apprentices must be employed as a new member of staff from 1 August 2020 to 31 January 2021. Talk to our team to find out how you could benefit.

How does ARU access the funds?

Levy payers

Funds will be available to you as an employer to use for apprenticeship training in England through a Digital Apprenticeship Service account. This funding can be used to pay for apprenticeship programmes. Funds will expire 24 months after they enter a digital account unless they are spent on apprenticeship training. Once you’ve agreed to invest in apprenticeship training, and the apprenticeship has started, monthly payments will be automatically taken from your digital account and sent to us as the provider. This spreads the cost over the lifetime of the apprenticeship. You will see funds entering the digital account each month as you pay the levy, and funds leaving the account regularly each month as you pay for training.

How do I get the most out of Degree Apprenticeships?

To maximise the potential benefits of degree apprenticeships to your organisation, carefully consider the following:

Identify which degree apprenticeships would be most relevant to your business strategy

Where will your organisation be in five years’ time and, consequently, which skills should you be reinforcing or putting in place?

Carry out a skills audit

What is the range and extent of the skills presently available within your company? Which roles present the greatest challenge in recruitment and retention?

Identify future leaders

Which employees are demonstrating the traits and behaviours to become future leaders or major contributors to business growth? How can you invest in their development to improve the likelihood of retaining them? Answering these questions will help you to identify the ‘skills gap’ that could be effectively filled by degree apprentices.

Calculate the value of funds available

What funding might you expect to receive via the Apprenticeship Levy for investment in degree apprenticeships? What would be the most effective way of using these funds to meet your business objectives? Our specialist Degrees at Work team will provide expert advice on how to use degree apprenticeships to your best advantage. They will guide and support you at every stage of the process of setting up and implementing your degree apprenticeship programme.

What Degree Apprenticeships does ARU offer?

At ARU we offer a rapidly growing range of degree apprenticeships across Management and Leadership; Digital Technology and Data Science; Health; the Built Environment; and Public Services.

View our full course list

ARU's apprenticeship delivery subcontracting statement


For Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), higher and degree apprenticeships are a central element of our work to support the economic, cultural and social wellbeing of our region and to deliver an outstanding and inclusive educational experience. ARU’s strategy Designing our Future commits our University to substantially increase the number and range of degree apprenticeships we offer.

This policy defines the rationale by which the University will subcontract apprenticeship provision funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and the measures in place to ensure that any subcontracted delivery enhances our provision to apprentice and employer.

Rationale for subcontracting

ARU subcontracts apprenticeship provision if this enables us and our employers to enhance the quality of our offer and access specialist expertise and resources that would otherwise not be available to apprentices.

Selection, approval and monitoring of subcontractors

Prior to engagement, all of our subcontractors go through a selection and approval process which ensures that:

  • our engagement is compliant with procurement law and ARU’s procurement processes;
  • they have an appropriate capacity and track record in providing high quality teaching and learning. This includes meeting relevant quality assurance requirements and outcomes of inspection such as Ofsted where relevant;
  • they pass our due diligence process. This includes ensuring their sound legal and financial status, that their funding sources are stable, they are not an extremist organisation and all required policies, including Prevent and Safeguarding, are in place;
  • the proposed delivery fits with the requirements of the standard and of the apprenticeship funding rules, including that it will enable us, our employers and apprentices to access specialist expertise and resources that would otherwise be unavailable;
  • the proposed delivery is in line with ARU’s strategies, academic regulations, codes of practice and business requirements.

All subcontracted delivery is subject to ARU’s quality controls as laid out in our Academic Regulations, Codes of Practice and other policies as well as annual financial checks. This includes observation of delivery, feedback from apprentices and monitoring the quality of assessed work. All assessment on ARU apprenticeships is moderated to ensure that the expected standards are met.

Subcontracted delivery is subject to an annual independent audit, as required by the ESFA funding rules.

ARU ensure that employers are aware of, and agree to, any subcontracting arrangements before they commit to an apprenticeship programme with us.

Services and charges

ARU will provide a range of services when subcontracting to ensure high quality of provision. These include:

  • Support activities, such as programme management and co-ordination across the shared delivery
  • Management and monitoring of the quality of on-programme delivery and assessment, following the processes set out in ARU’s Academic Regulations and Senate Code of Practice for Collaborative Provision. This includes ensuring the subcontractor’s full involvement with ARU’s Annual Monitoring Reporting process, Module Evaluation processes and moderation of on-programme assessment
  • Ensuring the subcontracted delivery continues to meet the requirements of the apprenticeship standard and employer’s needs.

The overall contract value with each employer will be broken down into:

  • Funding retained by ARU for direct delivery of training and on-programme assessment – proportionate to the volume and level of teaching provided
  • Funding payable to subcontractor for their contribution – subject to the agreed amount of delivery
    The amount of delivery and associated charges are identified as part of the procurement process, taking into account the apprenticeship standard and the needs of employers and apprentices.

Our subcontracting falls under two main categories:

  • Supporting the delivery of our qualifications where the subcontractor offers specialist input and expertise – the amount of funding payable to the subcontractor will be proportionate to the volume of teaching and assessment undertaken, their sector expertise and other resources they contribute to the delivery of the programme.
    Quality of their delivery is monitored as part of our standard quality assurance processes and outlined in the contract with the subcontractor
  • Delivery of additional qualifications required as part of the apprenticeship e.g. L2 English and Maths – this includes established qualifications.

Our procurement policy offers a framework to ensure that our subcontractors offer value for money. The quality of delivery is monitored in line with our subcontracting policy.

Funding retained by ARU for managing and monitoring delivery subcontractors, support activities offered to subcontractors and funding retained for quality assurance. The actual costs are determined on a case by case basis based on the requirements of the subcontracted apprenticeship programme – this is not expected to exceed 20% of the sub-contract value.

ARU’s written agreement with each employer outlines these costs, the services associated with them and each provider’s role within the delivery of the apprenticeship.


To ensure it continues to meet the University's needs and the requirements of the University's contract with the ESFA and all relevant funding regulations, this Policy is subject to annual review by ARU’s Apprenticeship Subcommittee, which reports through to Senate in terms of academic governance, and is signed by our Vice Chancellor.

Information for existing employer partners

If you're already partnering with us, then we'd like to make you aware of some important information that you should know.

Coronavirus - Advice for business partners

Complaints procedure

Artist's impression of the new ARU Peterborough campus

New apprenticeships at ARU Peterborough

From September 2022, we’ll be offering a range of degree and higher apprenticeships from our brand-new university.

Discover Degree Apprenticeships at ARU Peterborough

What our employer partners say


The structure of the Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship at ARU provides a great framework for us to fulfil our training obligations. Our apprentices receive high-quality teaching whilst being able to apply their knowledge in the workplace through academic study and on-the-job training.

Mark Thomas, CEO and Owner

McLaren Group

For any firm that is looking to upskill their workforce, either by developing staff or by recruiting, we'd recommend having a conversation with the Degrees at Work Team. They will give you a great understanding about the programmes available and how you can fit them in to your training and development.

Nikki Treweek, Head of Talent Development

Hear from more of our employer partners

Want to talk to someone?

If you’d like to discuss any aspect of degree apprenticeships, then our designated team of experts would be delighted to hear from you.