Apprenticeships have a long tradition in the UK, dating back as far as the 12th century.
The concept of a Degree Apprenticeship, however, is a relatively new educational route which offers school-leavers the opportunity to combine their university studies with the financial security of full-time paid work.
And for employers, it's an ideal platform to nurture and grow their own talent.
As Mike Thompson, Head of Careers at Barclays, explains in his blog post below, the economics of a degree apprenticeship can offer real value for both the apprentice and the employer.
Says Thompson: "As a pathway for social mobility the degree apprenticeship is very powerful, allowing those who cannot go to university because of their personal circumstances a chance to gain a degree and earn at the same time.
"It is also a great progression pathway for those who may have joined on foundation apprenticeships and want to develop their career."
Thompson also points out that the scheme can offer employers the chance to invest in their existing workforce, through re-skilling or up-skilling employees who may not previously have had the opportunity, or resources, to pursue tertiary education:
"For many employees who entered the workforce without a degree, the degree apprenticeship offers a second chance to gain that coveted qualification."
The economics make sense for an employer. The cost/benefit ratio is apparent when you compare degree apprenticeships with often fairly high cost graduate programmes. This said, it should be recognised that the degree apprenticeship is a ‘slower burn’ investment. It provides an often younger, less experienced talent pool than with graduate programmes. As such it isn’t a direct replacement but rather a complementary channel that allows you to ‘grow your own’ talent.