Almost 3,000 people applied for spots of the two-year programme which offers roles across government departments in England in IT, Business Administration, and Finance.
It is aimed at those school-leavers who don’t want to go to university and gives those who complete the scheme a level 4 qualification – the equivalent of a certificate of higher education. Level 5 would be a diploma of higher education and level 6 a bachelor’s degree.
The government wants to double the amount of spaces available in 2015 to 400, after launching it last year with just 100.
Of the current participants, 43% are women and 16% have declared a minority ethnic background, according to a press release put out by the Cabinet Office today.
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.”
And minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude (pictured with some apprentices) said that “the civil service already employs some of Britain's most talented people”, adding that “the scheme opens the door to a challenging and rewarding Civil Service career.”
Departments and professions within the Civil Service will continue to run their own apprenticeship schemes alongside the cross-government scheme.
Anyone interested in taking part in next year’s programme, should register their interest here.