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ASDAN collaborates in pilot program to boost access to apprenticeships

The My Dream Career/Apprenticeship pilot project is being delivered by a partnership of the Western Training Provider Network (WTPN), ASDAN and City of Bristol College, working with The West of England Combined Authority with funding from the Mayoral Priority Skills Fund. 

This innovative project marks a significant milestone in supporting students' transition to apprenticeships, enhancing their career prospects, and bolstering the local economy. 

Against the backdrop of rising living costs, housing challenges, and evolving apprenticeship standards, students are increasingly recognising the appeal of apprenticeship pathways to their success. With 475,000 applications recorded by UCAS in 2023, the appeal of learning on the job to develop employability skills is increasing.  

Navigating the apprenticeship landscape, however, remains a daunting task for many. The journey to securing the right apprenticeship demands in-depth research, self-discovery and reflection and culminates in competitive interviews with employers. 

Recent findings from UCAS highlight significant hurdles faced by aspiring apprentices, including the absence of a centralised application service and limited support, particularly for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.  

My Dream Career/Apprenticeship aims to revolutionise the approach by integrating apprenticeship and career focused components into an existing project qualification. Through dedicated curriculum time, students receive comprehensive guidance and support from experienced tutors, equipping them with invaluable skills for lifelong career progression. 

ASDAN’s Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a nationally recognised Level 3 qualification. Designed to develop independent study and work-related skills, our EPQ is the perfect qualification for learners to explore and prepare for an apprenticeship. 

Alex Richards from the WTPN shared his insights on the pilot. 

"Our innovative pilot, 'My Dream Career/Apprenticeship,' empowers participants with the guidance, direction, and self-sufficiency needed to navigate the intricate apprenticeship landscape. By instilling these essential skills, we pave the way for sustainable career advancement over a lifetime." 

The launch of this pioneering program underscores a collective commitment to fostering a skilled workforce, driving innovation, and propelling local communities towards a prosperous future. 

Jenny Williams, Chief Executive of ASDAN, is enthusiastic about this collaboration. 

“This project will equip learners with the skills, knowledge and confidence to explore apprenticeships as a viable option as they progress from education into their chosen career. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to adapt our supporting materials to enable ASDAN’s EPQ to be the qualification that opens up this pathway for learners at City of Bristol College. We hope many more will be able to follow these young trailblazers.”