Bright school-leavers flock to fill government apprenticeship roles

The Cabinet Office has revealed a 30% increase in the number of applications to join its expanding Civil Service Fast Track apprenticeship scheme for roles across government.

This year almost 3,000 young people aged between 18 and 21 putting themselves forward for the apprenticeship scheme, which was open to 18 to 21-year-olds with five A*-C grades at GCSE .

The apprentices will be expected to develop a range of skills and will have the opportunity to apply for other civil service career opportunities at the end of the 2-year scheme. This year, apprentices can work towards specialist qualifications in IT and finance.

Kemet Hawthorne Pink, one of the first intake in September 2013, is now working in the private office of Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood and Head of the Civil Service Sir Bob Kerslake. He said: “I weighed up the options and although university is great, this scheme offered me a way into a job I’ve always wanted to do. From the start you are given a lot of responsibility and have to work hard – but that matches my level of ambition. I want to progress, and I have the opportunity to learn some quite technical skills in finance and procurement. Now I’m in, all doors are open to me.”

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said: “The Fast Track Apprenticeship scheme is growing, attracting more high-achieving school-leavers who want to go straight into work. This is a pool of talent we can’t afford to ignore if we are to create the modern, highly skilled civil service that will help us compete effectively in the global race.”