Pilot UCAS Scheme Proves A Success For Apprenticeships
A suggestion has been made by Rishi Sunak, MP for Richmond in North Yorkshire that would make the route to applying for an Apprenticeship much easier. The proposal was that the UCAS process is expanded past applications to universities and colleges for degree courses to also include Apprenticeships. A pilot scheme has been carried out in Richmond meaning that pupils interested in taking on an Apprenticeship as the next step in their career have been able to apply through UCAS. Currently, pupils can only use the UCAS process once they have completed their GCSEs, the proposed scheme would extend this option to include post A-level students also.
The current scheme that encompasses post-GCSE students has proven very popular. Figures published in March showed that a record number of post-GCSE students are applying for Apprenticeships through UCAS, an increase from the 9,000 Apprenticeship applications through UCAS last year.
Rishi Sunak who oversaw the pilot scheme, told the Richmond Business Network at Richmond School & Sixth Form College “we need an easier way for businesses to find Apprentices, we need an easier way for Apprentices to be able to apply. Extending the UCAS application portal seems the easiest solution. The pilot has been very well received and the Government is now exploring the idea of rolling out the initiative nationally.”
Liz Mannion, the Manager of Careers and Employability at Richmond School Sixth Form College is also supportive of the scheme and said “applying for university places is relatively straightforward because of the UCAS system, but applying for Apprenticeships can be a minefield. The pilot will make it easier and also mean that everyone feels equal. We are committed to make sure our students achieve their aspirations, whether they are within higher education or Apprenticeships.”
As a provider of Apprenticeships, we think it would be great for the UCAS process to be extended to include applications for Apprenticeships, making the process much easier for applicants and for businesses. We asked for the opinion of our own Apprenticeship Recruitment Manager, Caroline Murray who agreed and said “if they receive the same sort of support from schools and colleges as the university option does, any system that enables easier access to Apprenticeships that can put them on the same footing as university is a good idea.”