The chief of the UK’s university admissions body says it is “doable” for apprenticeships to secure UCAS points by the end of 2023.
UCAS chief executive Clare Marchant told today’s ninth annual apprenticeship conference in Birmingham that a team is currently working on enabling apprenticeships to qualify for UCAS points, with hopes of an announcement at the end of the calendar year.
It follows the organisation’s announcement last month that it will expand its apprenticeship offering on the website from the summer, to enable prospective learners to see different routes into careers side-by-side, with students able to apply for apprenticeships on the site from autumn 2024.
Speaking to AAC delegates on Monday morning, Marchant said it was “doable” to get tariff points against apprenticeships by the end of the year.
She added: “We’ve got a team working at the moment to do exactly that. We want to do it right, so we’re expecting by the end of this year some progress to be announced.
“In fact we just met with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education just last week to talk about how to do this together.”
Marchant said it requires close working with government, regulators and IfATE, and explained that skills minister Robert Halfon had already written to UCAS expressing his support for the work.
UCAS points are ascribed to post-16 level 3 qualifications to help determine entry criteria for university courses.
Level 3 courses such as A-levels, T Levels, BTECs and Cambridge Technicals all carry UCAS points, but to date apprenticeships have not.
The plans represent another step on UCAS’ bid to give parity between apprenticeships and other post-16 study routes, however it is not yet clear how many points apprenticeships may be eligible for, or whether they will secure as many as other level 3 routes.
The Department for Education said that offering the ability to apply for apprenticeships through UCAS from 2024 is part of a wider ambition to develop a “one-stop-shop” for education and training options that it hopes will eventually include apprenticeships, T Levels, skills bootcamps, higher technical qualifications and degree apprenticeships.