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Apprenticeship application shake-up

A university-style application system should be in place for apprenticeships, according to a group of leading training figures from firms including Laing O’Rourke.

City & Guilds Group’s Industry Skills Board (ISB) published a series of recommendations to boost the take-up and usefulness of apprenticeships.

Making Apprenticeships Work said applying for the vocational positions should be more like the process of applying to go to university.

It outlined a system that would see:

  • Colleges and employers all post opportunities at one point in the calendar
  • Offers then made for applicants to accept or reject
  • A ‘clearing’ stage to fill final vacancies with remaining applicants

“This process would encourage more young people to opt for apprenticeships and would generally improve the quantity and quality of applicants for employers,” said the report.

ISB chair Andy Smyth said: ‘Many young people in full time education decide an apprenticeship is the right route for them – but this means nothing if they cannot access opportunities in the right timeframe.

“Along with the other members of the ISB, I am passionate about building a great apprenticeship system to help boost UK productivity and individual success. If the obstacles we outline in this report, such as the recruitment process, are addressed I am confident apprenticeships can become a sustainable and universally respected route to career success, serving the needs of business and young people.”

Alison Lamplough, head of operational training in apprenticeships at Laing O’ Rourke, is one of 16 members of the ISB, alongside skills chiefs from firms such as McDonalds and National Grid.

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