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Mapping apprenticeship standards to jobs

9th August 2019 by Stephen Lockhart

We’ve released an update this week which brings apprenticeships into Pathways. This exciting update maps current apprenticeship standards to jobs, allowing students to see the apprenticeship options that lead to a specific job.

We’re very aware of the need to raise the profile of apprenticeships. To help inform students and their parents of the vast array of apprenticeship opportunities available, as well as demonstrating that apprenticeships are available across the majority of careers and are a viable option to help students get the job they want.

We often hear from colleges that there is a big push coming from higher up to ensure that the college does its upmost to present accurate and informative details on apprenticeships and to do more to promote them as options.

Research and consultation

We’ve been working on the inclusion of apprenticeships into Pathways for many months. We have spent time consulting, researching and testing available sources of apprenticeship information to determine how to bring apprenticeships into Pathways in the most meaningful way.

In our initial consultation with colleges it became clear that including apprenticeship vacancy information from the government’s ‘Find an apprenticeship’ service, who offer a data API, wasn’t going to be good enough. Colleges told us that they didn’t want live apprenticeship vacancies for other colleges being advertised on their site, via Pathways. Which we completely understood.

Furthermore and due to the nature of apprenticeships, showing current apprenticeship vacancies would only tell half of the story. A college can offer many apprenticeships options and they’ll work with the student to find an employer. There doesn’t always have to be a live vacancy. 

So only showing apprenticeships vacancies wouldn’t give a true representation of the opportunities available to a chosen career. 

We want Pathways to both inform and inspire, therefore we want to showcase all possible apprenticeship routes a student could take.

Mapping SOCs to Standards

The data we use to power all occupations within Pathways comes from the government’s Standard Occupation Classification, known as SOCs. 

After much research including conversations with the Apprenticeship Engagement team at the Department for Education, it was clear there was no current mapping between Apprenticeship Standards and SOCs.

We wanted students to be able to see a clear link from doing an apprenticeship to getting a job. 

As such, we have now created our own mapping to create a relationship between Apprenticeship Standards and Occupations.

What this now means, is that within the Pathways tool when a student is looking at a particular job, we list all apprenticeship options that could lead to this job. Showing quite clearly that apprenticeships are available right up to degree level.

Apprenticeship options for Mechanical engineers

For each apprenticeship listed, we link off to the Institute for Apprenticeships (https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org) with detailed information about that apprenticeship.

A first of its kind

We spend a lot of time researching how others present career and progression data. Whilst we are aware of other tools that provide colleges with data on future careers, none that we have seen present apprenticeship information mapped to careers in such an informative way. 

So we’re very excited and see this as a significant step forward.

Extending our offering

Adding this new apprenticeship feature within Pathways compliments the existing ‘Common study routes’ function, which details common routes students take from Level 3 courses through HE and onto a particular job. 

Showing students there are many routes you can take to a chosen career.