Apprenticeship Featured Industry News

Apprenticeships boosted under plans to broaden UCAS

Young people will soon be able to search and apply for apprenticeships on UCAS.

  • – Thousands of apprenticeship opportunities to be advertised to young people alongside undergraduate degrees in plans to broaden UCAS
  • – Half of UCAS applicants would consider an apprenticeship, but not enough vacancies are being offered to meet growing demand
  • – Education Secretary sets out ambition to go further still, to develop a one-stop-shop to make it easier for young people to see all education and training options and apply for them

Young people will be able to use UCAS to search and apply for apprenticeships, alongside degrees, under new plans announced by the Education Secretary and UCAS.

From this autumn, UCAS will expand their service so that young people can see more personalised options, including apprenticeships. From 2024, students will then be able to apply for apprenticeships through UCAS alongside an undergraduate degree application.

Almost half of people that register on UCAS say they would consider an apprenticeship, but currently there are not enough vacancies being advertised through the service to meet growing demand.

The plans will help put technical and vocational education on an equal footing with traditional academic routes. By opening up the service to apprenticeship opportunities, thousands more young people will benefit from a wider choice of high-quality options. Employers will also benefit from better access to talent on UCAS and the ability to manage their apprentice recruitment process.

Announcing the plans during National Apprenticeship Week, the Education Secretary Gillian Keegan pledged to go further still, and develop a one-stop-shop where young people can compare the full range of occupations, training and education opportunities available to them.

Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan said: “My apprenticeship was my golden ticket. It gave me a unique insight into how a business operated, from the shop floor to the boardroom.

“I learnt the skills that businesses truly value and it launched my career in international business.

“This National Apprenticeship week I hope more people learn about the incredible opportunities available in everything from engineering to accountancy, healthcare to gaming software development. Whatever career goals you aspire to, they can be achieved through an apprenticeship, up to masters degree level.”

Clare Marchant, Chief Executive of UCAS 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.  

“As an independent charity working across the UK and globally, students are at the heart of everything we do at UCAS, and with almost half of all UCAS users interested in apprenticeships, equating to hundreds of thousands of potential apprentices, we can help meet this growing demand by showcasing all post-secondary opportunities.

“Today’s announcement by the Department for Education shows the commitment to deliver a clear, accessible and joined-up service that will help students discover, decide and apply in one place, enabling them to achieve their future careers aspirations.”

Over 1.5m students already use the UCAS Hub to access information on different education and training routes. From 2023, students will be able to explore apprenticeship opportunities alongside undergraduate courses within the Hub, allowing them to discover and decide between their options in the same place for the first time. It will also show students the different routes into a single career destination, meaning if a student is interested in, for example, engineering, they will see the undergraduate and apprenticeship routes displayed side-by-side.

From autumn 2024, students will then be able to apply for apprenticeships within the UCAS Hub and employers will be able to manage applications for their apprenticeship vacancies through UCAS too.

So that as many apprenticeship vacancies are advertised through the Hub as possible, the Government will collaborate with UCAS to share vacancy information collated through its Find an Apprenticeship Service, which already collates and advertises thousands of opportunities.

The government’s ambition is to develop a seamless ‘one-stop shop’ where a young person can explore all the high-quality options and learn about the skills and knowledge they need to develop to succeed in their chosen career, whether it’s a level 2 apprenticeship, a T Level, a degree, a Skills Bootcamp, a higher technical qualification or a degree apprenticeship. The Government has asked the Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education to use their work to map technical career routes to support this.