The world’s first apprenticeship route to supply chain leadership roles, which has been developed by an employer group consisting of around 25 organisations and a number of Universities, and is led by the Uniserve Group and the Supply Chain Academy – is set to launch in early 2018.
The Supply Chain Leadership Professional Integrated Degree Apprenticeship will deliver and assess – through both academic learning and on-the-job training – the knowledge, skills and behaviours that are required to perform competently in this senior role and includes the achievement of a full bachelor’s degree upon completion.
Degree apprentices, as with other apprentices, will be in employment throughout – spending 20% of their time on academic study. The cost of course fees is shared between government and employers, so apprentices do not pay fees or have any student debt.
Paul Stone, the Uniserve Group’s HR Director and Director of the Supply Chain Academy, leads the employer group that developed the degree apprenticeship. He commented: “This is a long-awaited work-based career route that will ensure that the UK is well-equipped to deal with the increasing complexities of global trade during and post-Brexit.
“No longer are apprenticeships just focused on disadvantaged adults and young people in low and entry-level roles; instead employers are making a demand for apprenticeships at the higher education level and are creating a number of high-quality apprenticeship opportunities for young people and for those who are already mid-career.
“Our aim for this degree apprenticeship is to professionalise the industry. We expect it to go a long way towards addressing the growing skills and management gap in the supply chain sector, and achieving this qualification should provide employers with confidence that the individual has the required understanding of the ‘end-to-end’ supply chain at a leadership level”.
The coming together of the organisations and Universities in the employer group is acknowledgement and recognition by Government that the shortage of skills needed by a modern-day supply chain must be addressed.
The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy – the £2.5bn that is estimated to be raised from businesses with a payroll in excess of £3 million to support apprenticeships – gives businesses a powerful incentive to work with Universities, as it offers not only sustainability of investment in the apprenticeship system going forward, but also refocuses apprenticeships on those higher-level skills and occupations that will drive the UK economy.