Press release

Two hundred apprentices join the fast track to government careers

Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeship scheme to double in size again in 2015.

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


Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude will today welcome to government 200 talented school-leavers who are starting their civil service careers as Fast Track Apprentices.

Launched in 2013, the Fast Track Apprenticeship scheme offers 18 to 21 year olds who don’t want to go to university a credible alternative to the Civil Service Fast Stream for graduates.

The apprenticeship scheme is part of the government’s drive to increase opportunities in the civil service for people of all backgrounds and create a civil service fit for 21st century Britain. It gives apprentices the chance to earn as they learn and develop their skills at the heart of government. They are placed in Executive Officer roles with real responsibility and genuine career prospects – working on the government’s digital agenda in Newcastle, helping people into work in Birmingham, or working with ministers in Whitehall.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

It’s important that schemes like this get the recognition they deserve, marking a clear step away from the barely concealed snobbery around vocational education.

Apprentices make a fantastic contribution to our society and I want young people from every background to know that if they choose to pursue their career in the civil service, work hard and prove themselves, nothing should stop them from making their way right to the top.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said:

The civil service already employs some of Britain’s most talented people, but this government launched the Fast Track Apprenticeship scheme to attract those who have chosen not to go to university. This year’s 200 new apprentices will be joined next year by another 400. The scheme opens the door to a challenging and rewarding civil service career.

Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service Sir Jeremy Heywood said:

With the Fast Track Apprenticeship scheme we want to provide the same high-quality opportunities for school-leavers that we offer graduates through our Fast Stream. The Fast Track also allows us to draw on a broader talent pool for the future leaders of the civil service.

For the apprentices we are welcoming today, this is the start of an exciting journey on which they will develop the skills and experience they need for a career in the civil service and a chance to make a difference. If you want to join them, register now to avoid missing out on the opportunity.

Applications for the 200 places on the Fast Track scheme this year – twice the number available in 2013 – rose by 30% to almost 3,000. For the third intake, in 2015, the number of apprenticeships on offer is set to double again to 400. The aim is to increase the places available on the scheme to 500 each year, making it comparable to the long-established graduate Fast Stream.

The Deputy Prime Minister will congratulate this year’s successful applicants at an induction event in central London on the theme ‘Understanding the Civil Service’.

Fast Track Apprentices benefit from a structured, 2-year training programme and are expected to develop a range of skills. At the end of the scheme, they will be able to apply internally as permanent employees for other civil service career opportunities.

Published 18 September 2014