Apprentices: Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

Department for Education written question – answered at on 24 October 2023.

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Photo of Ben Wallace Ben Wallace Conservative, Wyre and Preston North

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of enabling the use of UCAS to (a) search and (b) apply for level (i) 6 and (ii) 7 apprenticeships on take-up of those courses; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Minister of State (Education)

UCAS have recently expanded their service so students can easily see the different options open to them, including apprenticeships. Having apprenticeships showcased in this way boosts the profile of apprenticeships to school leavers and is a huge step forward in putting apprenticeships on an equal footing with traditional university degrees. Over 200 degree-level apprenticeship vacancies are currently being advertised on the UCAS website for people to consider.

This month the Department, in partnership with UCAS, will launch a pilot that aims to test different ways to connect even more students to apprenticeship opportunities. The pilot will run in 3 regions throughout the 2023/24 academic year – Lancashire, the North East and Greater London – engaging employers and providing students with access to additional support designed specifically for those interested in exploring and applying for apprenticeships alongside their other options (including undergraduate courses). The pilot will be followed by an evaluation in October 2024, including an assessment of the impact of having apprenticeship vacancies listed on the UCAS student hub. In 2024, students will be able to apply for apprenticeships through UCAS alongside an undergraduate degree application. The assessment of the impact of this will then follow at a later date.

We have seen year-on-year growth of degree-level apprenticeships with over 195,550 starts since their introduction in the 2014/15 academic year. To ensure that the supply of degree apprenticeship opportunities available meets demand, we are allocating an additional £40 million over the next two years, supporting degree apprenticeship providers to expand, on top of the £8 million investment in 2022/23.

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