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Government to offer Whitehall apprenticeships

By Richard Johnstone | 7 January 2013

The government is to launch a civil service apprenticeship programme to open up jobs in Whitehall to young people who do not go to university.

The scheme, which forms part of the Civil Service Reform Plan, will ‘attract more of the best talent’ to government, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said today.

Under the Fast Track programme, 18 to 21-year-olds who want to learn on the job will be placed in government departments and given a two-year training regime to develop their skills. Upon completion, they will be able to apply for graduate civil service posts.

Recruitment for the first 100 places will begin in April, with people set to start work in September. Ministers aim to eventually increase the total places to 500, to match the size of the graduate Fast Stream programme.

Maude said that the success of the civil service depended on its staff, and the scheme would ‘provide high-quality opportunities’.

He added: ‘Rather than going to university the apprentices will learn on the job, and at the end of the scheme they will be able to apply for graduate career opportunities. I look forward to welcoming these new apprentices into the civil service and to following their careers.’

The head of the civil service Sir Bob Kerslake said the government was ‘committed to giving more young people a chance to work at the heart of government and to receive first class training’.

He added: ‘Just because someone hasn’t been to university doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a bright career ahead of them.’

Skills minister Matthew Hancock welcomed what he said was another step forward in the government’s apprenticeship programme.

‘I'm delighted the government is practising what we preach with a new civil service apprenticeship scheme. Through it, people can learn the business of government on the job, while the civil service gains from having a new route for entrants.’

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