Principal’s contribution featured in newly released apprenticeship research

Posted on: 7 February, 2019

An influential lobbying group’s research report appraising degree apprenticeships which UCEM Principal, Ashley Wheaton, contributed to was released last week.

Ashley contributed to, and is quoted in, the Higher Education Commission’s report on degree apprenticeships on behalf of UCEM, joining more than 40 higher education providers and other organisations in providing evidence to the Commission.

The report entitled ‘Degree Apprenticeships: Up to Standard?’ finds that degree apprenticeships may be good in theory but they are not delivering for small employers or disadvantaged students.

Ashley provided feedback from UCEM’s perspective at a parliamentary inquiry into the apprenticeships agenda in September. Ashley gave evidence on four key areas for improvement in apprenticeships provision relating to funding, the availability of apprenticeship standards, the compliance burden and public sector procurement.

Ashley said: “UCEM is the largest provider of degree apprenticeships in Built Environment subjects and one of the largest providers of degree apprenticeships across the whole higher education sector, so I was delighted to be invited to contribute to this vital document.

“It’s important that government hear from apprenticeship providers and the research brings together key stakeholders from across the country as one voice to feed back our collective experience. We are a passionate advocate of apprenticeships and believe that, with a few key improvements, a solution can be found to benefit employers, education providers and apprentices alike to ensure it works for everybody.

“I really hope this research is a catalyst for positive change.”

To access the research, visit