The association for the people and businesses of Sheffield's digital industries.

talent 23, a year of talent and skills

a year of talent and skills

Sheffield Hallam University’s Annual Degree Apprenticeship Opportunity

Our Regional Partner is seeking employers to take on local digital degree apprentices this September.

Sheffield Hallam University has extended the range of digital subjects it offers a degree apprenticeship in, and has a pool of strong candidates looking to find a suitable employer and join one of the five courses available in September. Whilst taking on an apprentice is a big commitment, we think the funding available and the opportunity to shape your next employee so early in their career, are reasons that all employers should consider it.

Degree apprenticeships are now offered at Sheffield Hallam in the following digital subjects:

  • Software Engineering
  • IT Consultancy
  • Data Analytics
  • Creative Digital Design
  • Digital User Experience (UX)

What are degree apprenticeships?

Degree apprenticeships were introduced by the UK Government in 2015 to provide a way for school leavers to develop skills ‘on the job’ and earn a small wage, like a traditional apprenticeship, but also learn the theory and depth required for a fully fledged undergraduate degree accredited by a UK university.

This scheme was introduced alongside the “apprenticeship levy”, which requires all employers with an annual payroll greater than £3m to pay into the levy in order to help fund new apprenticeships, including degree apprenticeships. So, apprentices can be supported by this fund whether the employer that supports them pays into the levy or not.

As we reported at the time, Sheffield Hallam University was one of the first to offer degree apprenticeships in digital subjects, and the programmes have been expanded and refined a great deal over the years.

The apprentices work full-time and attend university on block study over three years while working towards their degree. 

What’s the deal and how do I apply?

The exact format of the university based study depends on the subject and course. As it’s over three years, taking on an apprentice does require a significant commitment, especially by smaller employers, but given the levy fund and the opportunity to shape the development of a young professional from an earlier age, the cost vs risk equation is one that we think most local tech employers should consider.

(We would love to hear from employers who have used this scheme recently – please get in touch and let us know your experience!)

For non-levy payers, the course fees are:

  • 95% government funded if the apprentice is 19 or over at enrolment.
  • 100% government funded if the apprentice is under 19 at enrolment (which many of these candidates would be).

The employer has to cover the salary, which could be the current apprentice minimum wage (£6.40 per hour), but SHU’s recommendation is to go above that in order to make it less likely that the apprentice withdraws. Their recommendation is £15k-16k per annum as a starting point.

Plus, if the apprentice is under 19 at enrolment, the employer will receive a £1,000 incentive which is paid in two instalments: £500 after 3 months and £500 after 12 months.Interested employers should contact Employer Partnerships Manager, Joe Hockney at Sheffield Hallam University:, and he will provide CVs. Ideally prospective candidates should be interviewed before the end of July in order to get them successfully onboarded before the start of teaching.