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Degree Partnerships

More information and useful links

We know many employers are new to apprenticeships. At the University of Exeter, we aim to help you as much as we can. Below you will find useful information and links to websites and videos that might help answer any questions or concerns.

Every degree apprentice requires both an academic mentor and a workplace mentor. For guidance about the role of the workplace mentor, please consult our one page guide.

A conditional offer is an offer the University makes dependent on the grades that the apprentice is likely to get from previous academic qualifications.

Where results are pending e.g. A-level results or successful completion of a previous apprenticeship, these results must be confirmed before the start of programme.

If the apprentice has completed their studies, but the results won’t be confirmed until after the start date, they should contact the Degree Apprenticeship Student Support team to discuss.

When the apprentice receives their results, they should send a photograph or scan of their results (for verification) to our degree apprenticeships team with their Exeter reference number and programme title in the subject line. 

In the event of redundancy, an apprentice can port their apprenticeship to their new role, with the agreement of their new employer, if the new role is commenced within 12 weeks of the redundancy. If the new role is not commenced within 12 weeks then the apprentice will be withdrawn from the programme.

We will make reasonable efforts to find the apprentice a new employer.

If the apprentice finds a new role at a later date and wishes to resume their apprenticeship, with the agreement of the employer, the apprentice can re-apply to join the programme. Upon receipt of their new application, we will take into account previous learning and the apprentice could then re-join the programme at the appropriate stage.

We will support apprentices and employers during any changes to ensure all ESFA requirements are upheld.

Apprentices who are made redundant within six months of the final day of the practical period specified in the apprenticeship agreement may continue their training without being employed under an apprenticeship agreement, provided certain conditions are met.

Further guidance on redundancy can be found on the Government Apprenticeship website.

Covid 19 update:

The ESFA will keep under review whether the 12-week period should be extended.

In instances where a significant number of apprentices are made redundant (for example, because a large employer faces difficulties), the ESFA will attempt to provide exceptional practical support to the apprentices and training providers to secure alternative employers for the individuals. It is hoped that the Government's substantial package of financial support for business will prevent such significant redundancies, but the ESFA will keep arrangements under review and consider whether there are circumstances in which they may need to provide support to apprentices and training providers.

Apprentices that have been furloughed can continue with their training (whilst furloughed) as long as the training does not provide services to, or generate, revenue for their employer. This is covered in our apprentices' further information and useful links page.

A break in learning occurs when an apprentice takes a period of leave from their work due to a change in circumstances, for example medical treatment, maternity or paternity leave. Their training is paused for the duration of their break.

To qualify as a break in learning, the pause must be 4 weeks or longer and can last for up to a year. Breaks in learning must be agreed on by both employer and apprentice, with the agreement that the apprentice will return to the programme once the break in learning has completed.

The Government's apprenticeship funding guidance page details what is classified as a break in learning and there is a very helpful flow chart.

From 1 April 2021, Ofsted became responsible for inspecting the quality of apprenticeship training provision at all levels (including degree apprenticeships at the University) and publishing the outcomes of these inspections. Its responsibilities and rights come from the Education and Inspections Act 2006.

When Ofsted decides to inspect the University, Ofsted will be reviewing the apprenticeship, and not the degree itself.

Ofsted’s statutory rights are wide and they are entitled to inspect any information that relates to the education or training of the apprenticeship.

Ofsted is under a duty to maintain the confidentiality of the data it receives, stores and processes. It sets out a statement on confidentiality and data access here

Ofsted sets out details of how it accesses and uses personal data in its privacy notice here (including speaking to apprentices).

You may note that the ESFA is also entitled to share certain information with Ofsted (and all employers have to sign an agreement with the ESFA and comply with the ESFA’s funding rules for employers).

The University has to comply with Ofsted’s requests for information as they have statutory rights to request such information. Our agreements with employers permit us to share confidential information in order to comply with a legal requirement of a Governmental agency or otherwise or where disclosure is required by court order or by operation of law (or similar); from a personal data perspective, we are acting as data controllers and the student privacy policy (referenced in the Commitment Statement) explains that certain personal data may need to be shared with Government education departments for ‘legitimate purposes’.

Further information is available here: