Master's degree management apprenticeships funding approved

01 March 2018 -

Senior Leaders Master's Degree ApprenticeshipThe launch of the Senior Leaders Master’s Degree Apprenticeship means employers can now use the Apprenticeship Levy to pay for executive-level skill development

By Jermaine Haughton

Around 900 executive-level apprentices can start their courses after Skills Minister Anne Milton agreed the funding band.

The Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship was first approved in August 2017 by the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA). Yet, both employers and their providers had been waiting for the Levy funding band – now agreed at £18,000 for the two-year programme – to be approved before funded-delivery could start. Anne Milton’s approval will allow more than 900 executive-level apprentices to start their courses.

The Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship

The Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship has been developed by a group of more than 30 employers led by Serco and Civil Service Learning and supported by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

Tailored for professionals moving into senior management roles, participants can undertake a Master’s-level degree in management, which can include MBAs, and gain Chartered Manager professional accreditation and fellowship of the CMI.

The CMI’s director of strategy Petra Wilton says the Government approval is a breakthrough opportunity for bosses to invest in their managers at all levels.

“We’re delighted that this new Master’s level apprenticeship is now ready for delivery, as we know there’s already pent-up demand with many employers keen to get started,” she explained. “CMI has worked closely with both the trailblazer group and HE providers to develop standards that really meet the leadership needs of businesses across the UK. To tackle both our poor productivity and the uncertainties of Brexit, now more than ever, we need strong leaders.

“This means that top teams need professional leadership skills to drive business performance and growth. It will also help to challenge snobbery around vocational routes and can help demonstrate how these new apprenticeships really can provide pathways through to the top.”

The new Master’s apprenticeship adds to the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, which was launched in November 2015, and the team leader and operational manager apprenticeships launched in June 2016, providing a progression route for employers to invest in managers at all levels.

The course is centred on developing strategic leadership skills, including how to manage a high-performing and sustainable organisation. With BEIS data finding that incompetence or bad management of company directors causes 56% of corporate failures, Antony Jenkins, Chair of the Institute for Apprenticeships, says Master’s Degree Apprenticeships are an important way for employers to nurture successful senior managers.

He said: “Apprenticeships are playing an increasingly significant role across the UK economy, including at the very highest levels of leadership, so it is important that we are putting the right structures in place to ensure that they are of a high calibre and fit for the demands of the role. This approval means that we are better able to ensure first-class leadership among the next generation of senior managers.”

Justin Rix, partner at Grant Thornton UK LLP, adds that employers will see productivity and performance benefits from giving their top talents industry-leading management education.

He said: “Developing the skills and knowledge of the future leaders of organisations is critical to ensuring we drive productivity and enable sustainable long term results. The standard allows organisations of all sizes across the public, private and third sectors to now access world-class management education, which will undoubtedly help unlock individual’s and their organisation’s future potential and support a more vibrant UK economy to develop.”

On Wednesday 7 March, CMI is partnering with apprenticeships champions the 5% Club to host a live Q&A with a number of major employers and apprentices, featuring representatives from Barclays, Balfour Beatty and Serco, as part of National Apprenticeship Week. Guest speakers at the event include Lady Cobham, chair of the 5% Club, and Conservative MP Gillian Keegan.

For more information on the Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship, visit: or @CMI_managers

Image credit: Shutterstock

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