Press release

Civil servants of the future invited to apply to new Fast Track Apprenticeship Scheme

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A new Fast Track Apprenticeship Scheme for the UK Civil Service has opened for applications.

A new Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeship Scheme opens for applications today, giving talented and ambitious young people the opportunity to work at the heart of government, the Cabinet Office has announced.

Applicants could find themselves working in engaging roles with real responsibility, such as developing business policy in Sheffield, helping people into work in Birmingham, or advising ministers in Whitehall.

The scheme is part of the Civil Service Reform Plan which is making government less bureaucratic, faster and more digital. It will harness the talent and energy of 18-to-21-year-olds who have chosen not to go to university, but who have the skills and potential that the Civil Service needs to deliver exceptional public services.

Apprentices will have a structured training programme for at least two years as they work towards a Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship in Business and Professional Administration. They will learn new skills, such as leading projects and managing more junior team members, and will develop to become accomplished and respected civil servants, with a permanent position and a promising career ahead of them.

Alex Yates, apprentice at the Cabinet Office under an earlier scheme, discusses his experience of working in Whitehall.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said:

The Civil Service is a vibrant, exciting place to work where 9 out of 10 are interested in their job. Those who don’t go into higher education have a huge amount to offer, and the Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeship Scheme will help ensure that we continue to attract the brightest and the best people to work for us.

Sir Bob Kerslake, Head of the Civil Service, said:

Few employers can match what the Civil Service offers. Our talented and committed people work with some of the most important and exciting issues facing the country, and help change things for the better on a daily basis. Our last staff survey showed that 89% found their work interesting which is one of the reasons why the Civil Service Graduate Fast Stream is so popular. I have no doubt our new Fast Track Apprenticeship Scheme will be equally successful. I hope young people come forward to learn what the scheme has to offer – it could be one of the best decisions they ever make”.

Minister for Skills Matthew Hancock said:

The Civil Service Apprenticeship Scheme will provide a fantastic opportunity for people - regardless of their background - to work at the heart of decision-making and to have a fulfilling career in government. Our ambition is to make it the norm for school leavers to either go to University or do an apprenticeship, schemes like this are crucial to making this a reality. apprenticeships can increasingly get you into any career.

A range of government departments are taking part in the pilot of the scheme, with 100 places being made available in London, Yorkshire, the North West and West Midlands. Eventually the scheme will grow to 500 places to match the existing Graduate Fast Stream programme.

Notes to editors

  • Applications will be considered on a first come, first served basis. Get further information and find out how to apply.
  • Applicants must:
    • have 5 GCSEs at grades A* to C, including English language and Maths
    • be aged between 18 and 21 on 31 August 2013
    • be able to start in September 2013
  • Departments offering places under the pilot scheme include: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; Department for Education; Cabinet Office; Crown Prosecution Service; HM Revenue & Customs; Department for Work and Pensions; and Ministry of Justice.
  • The roles will be first line management grade. Salaries are dependent on the department and location but the minimum will be £18,763.
  • The Fast Track Apprenticeship Scheme is one of several ways in which the Civil Service Reform Plan is developing skills and capabilities across government, particularly digital and commercial skills, leadership and management of change, and project management. The latest information on Civil Service Reform, together with a PDF of the Reform Plan, can be found here..