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Transforming the Perception of Apprenticeships in England Professional Careers in the Public Sector

Conference call for papers from Higher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning

Transforming the Perception of Apprenticeships in England: Professional Careers in the Public Sector

A special issue of

Higher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning

Guest editors: Darryll Bavenboer PFHEA, Director of Apprenticeships and Skills, Middlesex University

Mandy Crawford Lee, Director of Policy and Operations, University Vocational Awards Council

In 2015, the UK Government Apprenticeship Taskforce launched its vision for English Apprenticeships and set a target of 3 million new apprenticeship starts by 2020. Although Government have set aside this ambition in favour of a focus on quality, the intended date of this special issue will tie in with this milestone year.

This issue will be a showcase: of how the apprenticeship system in England, powered by higher education engagement and employer ambition, has since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in 2017 delivered innovation and best practice in the delivery of degree apprenticeships in the public sector and become an aspirational choice for individuals wishing to pursue careers as nurses, allied/healthcare professionals, police constables, teachers and social workers.

It is also intended to be an anniversary edition as UVAC will be celebrating HESWBL’s 10th year in publication.

HESWBL has already published two special issues on Higher Apprenticeships (Volume 2 Number 4, 2012) and on Higher and Degree Apprenticeship (Volume 6 Number 4, 2016) but the system of apprenticeships in England has undergone significant change since their release. Degree Apprenticeships are still a relatively new concept (first introduced in 2015) and delivery is only just beginning to demonstrate their value to the public sector. The strategic importance of public sector degree apprenticeships for UK universities is also only just starting to be realised and recognised. By 2020 the impact on social mobility, diversity and opportunities for widening access, on teaching and assessment practice, will be better understood, researched and reflected on.

Degree apprenticeships have in part developed a reputation as the flagship apprenticeship programme. They are helping transform the image and perception of apprenticeship from the good choice for other people's children to an aspirational choice for everyone. For employers, degree apprenticeships have helped attract new talent, tackle gender stereotyping and are supporting organisations in both the private and public sector recruit new and develop existing employees in occupations vital to raising productivity and delivering high quality public services. But, degree apprenticeships have had a mixed initial reception in the public sector to date (2018). This has been partly related to challenges of funding constraints and staff shortages and partly because of concerns around maintaining high professional standards while introducing different approaches to training.

It is in this context that the aim of the special issue becomes critical. Universities in the UK have the opportunity and responsibility to showcase and share what constitutes best pedagogical practice in degree apprenticeships and set standards and benchmarks which will raise expectations amongst apprentices, employers and policy makers. This special issue is aimed at collating and reporting best practice insights, covering a variety of angles from stakeholders directly involved in Degree Apprenticeships in the public sector. It will bring new perspectives to and recognition of the value of learning integrated work and work-integrated degrees by viewing best practice within and across sectors (health, government, policing, education) using a number of reference points to identify "success and quality characteristics" from pedagogical practice in each public sector profession. It will enhance and inform best practice in delivery and encourage new reflections on high level teaching and assessment in the workplace.

We welcome submissions to this special issue. Topics covered include (but are not limited to):

-          Best practice in work-integrated learning for public sector degree apprenticeships

-          The value of degree apprenticeships for the public sector in England

-          Opportunities for widening access to the teaching profession through apprenticeships

-          The language of degree apprenticeships in the public sector: Work integrated learning or learning integrated work?

-          Use of the work-based learning “toolbox” to build degree apprenticeships for the public sector

-          Pan-London higher education collaborations in optimising the apprenticeship levy for public sector employers

-          Lessons from the new-fast track work-based routes into qualified social work practice: implications for apprenticeship models

-          Case Study: Challenges and opportunities of the policing education qualifications framework

-          Apprenticeships and beyond

-          Graduate apprenticeship skills recognition, acquisition and application for the public sector

-          Social mobility and public sector degree apprenticeships

Deadline and submission details

Abstracts by June 2019 or earlier

The submission deadline for all papers is October 2019

The publication date for this special issue is early 2020

To submit your research, please visit:

Contact the Guest Editors for an early discussion or expression of interest:

Dr Darryll Bavenboer PFHEA, Director of Apprenticeships and Skills, Middlesex University (e) [email protected] (t) 07961 335187

Mandy Crawford-Lee, Director of Policy and Operations, University Vocational Awards Council (e) [email protected] (t) 07763820713