Ryan Foord from Andover was among 200 talented school-leavers welcomed to government this week as Civil Service Fast Track Apprentices by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude.
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 graduate Fast Stream. 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.
Ryan will be working at Army HQ in Andover as a trainee accountant and secured the position whilst studying for his A-levels.
Ryan said “I was initially attracted to the fast track scheme because of the level 4 qualification it was offering. All other apprenticeships were only offering level 3 qualifications.”
“This route also enables me to become a chartered accountant two years quicker than if I had gone to University and, as someone who learns better by ‘doing’, it was clear that it was the path for me.”
“I am very excited to be joining the ranks of the Civil Service and can’t wait to travel the country and work with all sorts of people across all sorts of disciplines and departments.”
“I’d strongly encourage others to follow the route that I have taken. This is the best opportunity of my life and even though I’m new to the job I can already tell it was an extremely wise decision and there’s not going to be a moment I regret.”
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 Britain. It gives apprentices the chance to earn as they learn and develop their skills at the heart of government.
Applications for the 200 places on the scheme this year – twice the number available in 2013 – rose by 30 per cent to almost 3,000.
For the third intake, in 2015, the number of Fast Track Apprenticeships on offer is set to double again to 400. The aim is to increase the places available to 500 each year, making the scheme comparable in size to the long-established Civil Service Fast Stream graduate programme, and as well-respected.
You can register your interest in applying for the 2015 scheme here.
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.”
Fast Track Apprentices benefit from a structured, two-year training programme and are expected to develop a range of skills. At the end of the scheme, they will have the opportunity to apply internally as permanent employees for other Civil Service career opportunities.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Francis Maude congratulated this year’s successful applicants at an induction event in central London, on the theme “Understanding the Civil Service”.