Apprenticeships are a vital part of the further education pipeline, as some career paths can only really be taught by getting involved in the industry and building up skills for the future with the help of experienced providers.
This important role they play in the future of the country has just been solidified by the announcement that the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) are incorporating apprenticeships into their current admissions website.
This means that, alongside university courses and admissions to specialist further education colleges, UCAS will also display apprenticeships alongside these more traditional courses, as well as ask students if they are interested in apprenticeships alongside undergraduate degrees.
This will then link learners to Find An Apprenticeship, the government’s apprenticeship service, although UCAS has stated that by the start of the 2024 autumn term students will be able to apply for apprenticeships through them directly.
This is not only important to young people by providing them with greater opportunities to get a meaningful education whilst also being paid to learn, but it also helps other apprenticeship providers, largely in the same way a rising tide lifts all ships.
People in the industry and people who have attained qualifications through an apprenticeship have always known the value of these schemes, but as a lingering consequence of the tripartite system, some people still pursue “traditional” further education despite it perhaps not being the best option for them.
As well as this, a lot of students simply did not know where to find apprenticeship vacancies, with UCAS claiming that over 500,000 students would have considered one had they known where to look.
Further education is not an option for many people, given the long-term costs involved, but getting the same result whilst being able to earn at the same time has already been a game changer, and presenting degrees and apprenticeships on the same level of visibility is a huge step.
This helps students find places, businesses find apprentices and providers by increasing the interest in apprenticeships for both students and employers alike.