A Yorkshire pilot scheme aimed at improving the stature and prestige of apprenticeships should be rolled out across the country, an MP has said.
Rishi Sunak, MP for Richmond in North Yorkshire, has suggested that apprenticeships should be included in the UCAS process, which currently only covers applications to universities and colleges for degree courses. Under the pilot scheme in Richmond, pupils interested in pursuing an apprenticeship as their next educational step have been able to apply through UCAS.
Under the current rules, pupils are able to use UCAS Progress once they’ve completed GCSEs – this new scheme would extend that to post-A level students. That scheme has so far proved very popular.
‘Extending the UCAS pricess the easiest solution’
Sunak told Richmond Business Network meeting at Richmond School & Sixth Form College: “We need an easier way for businesses to find apprentices, we need an easier way for apprentices to be able to apply. Extending the UCAS application portal seems the easiest solution. There should be no barriers to aspiration or success and if everyone could use the same system then automatically there is parity of esteem. The pilot has been very well received and the Government is now exploring the idea of rolling out the initiative nationally.”
Sunak’s suggestion has been supported by Liz Mannion, Richmond School Sixth Form College’s manager of careers and employability “Applying for university places is relatively straight forward because of the UCAS system, but applying for apprenticeships can be a minefield. The pilot will make it easier and also mean that everyone feels equal. We are committed to make sure our students achieve their aspirations, whether they are within higher education or apprenticeships.”