The Department for Education have announced that young people will soon be able to search and apply for apprenticeships alongside degrees on the UCAS website. The service will start this autumn, where searchers will be able to see different pathways into careers side-by-side, including apprenticeships.
From Autumn 2024, students will then be able to apply for apprenticeships alongside the usual undergraduate degree applications.
According to UCAS, around half of the students that register on the site say they would consider an apprenticeship, but not enough vacancies are being advertised.
Clare Marchant, UCAS chief executive, said: “Presenting students with all their choices in one place will not only transform the apprenticeship offering but create real parity by putting these options side-by-side with undergraduate courses.”
Employers will be able to manage applications for their vacancies through the service as well. For employers, the site will pull in data and vacancies from the government’s ‘find an apprenticeship’ website, although employers will also be able to directly advertise their vacancies on the UCAS website.
This service comes as part of a wider ambition to develop a “one-stop-shop” for education and training options that will include apprenticeships, T Levels, skills bootcamps, higher technical qualifications or degree apprenticeships.
How the news has been received
The news has been welcomed by the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, whose chief executive Jane Hickie explained that accessing information on apprenticeships could be “confusing and complicated at times”.
“This could be a game-changer, and alongside an enhanced talent finder function for employers, is much needed,” she said. “It also shows how apprenticeships are a really valuable option for learners and employers alike.”
AELP has urged training providers and employers to work with UCAS to showcase their opportunities and ensure the service becomes “a real success”.
The benefits of apprenticeships
Apprentices can be a breath of fresh air to a company, and they provide managers and mentors with someone to train, upskill and give necessary skills to, as well as providing these managers with opportunities to improve their efficiency.
Apprenticeships are a great way to build a company’s workforce and should be seen as an equal pathway to the workplace as university.
For learners, the advantages are clear, no tuition fees and graduating without any student-fee debt. They are earning a living whilst learning and developing workplace skills and the knowledge acquired is practical and applied with the degree viewed as equal to those achieved in the traditional route.
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