Early Connect

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What is the Early Connect London Pilot?

Early Connect London Pilot is a unique pilot being delivered by Rinova Ltd and Inspire EBP across London in partnership with the Greater London Authority (GLA), the Department for Education and UCAS, aiming to support more young people onto apprenticeships, and to make it easier for employers to find apprentices.

For more information and to sign up to Early Connect, follow early connect pilot.

The pilot will build upon the national services that are already in place through the Department for Education and the UCAS Hub.

The pilot will provide students with exclusive access to additional support, such as CV Surgeries, communication skills, mock interviews and assessments, designed specifically for those interested in exploring and applying for apprenticeships alongside their other options (including undergraduate courses).

The pilot is not mandatory. Schools and colleges in London will need to opt in to be part of the pilot in 23/24.

There is no cost for schools and colleges to participate in the pilot. Student support will be free of charge and all students will be able to access a new matching service, connecting them with relevant apprenticeship opportunities in their local area. Matching will be based on their preferences, experience and skills, and on criteria set by employers.

Schools and colleges will be equipped with the tools, resources and knowledge to effectively support young people considering their next steps after full-time education.

The Early Connect London Pilot started in April 2024 and runs across Greater London.

It will build upon the national services that are already in place through the DfE and UCAS, providing current year 13 students with exclusive access to additional support designed specifically for those interested in exploring apprenticeships alongside their other options, including undergraduate courses.

For more information and to sign up to Early Connect, follow this link.

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For more information and to sign up to Early Connect, follow early connect pilot or scan the QR code above.

How can I get involved?

I am an employer looking to take on an Apprentice: 

If you are a hospitality employer ( or any employer ) who is interested in taking on an Apprentice but doesn’t know where to start. Or if you have already advertised on UCAS or  Gov.uk’s Find An Apprenticeship listing, but have yet to find the right person for your role – please contact us. Early Connect will be able to help you in a number of different ways:

  1. If you are new to the idea of offering an apprenticeship place to a new or existing employee, we can put you in touch with an apprenticeship training provider, who will tell you everything you need to know and take you through the stages.
  2. If you already have an apprenticeship training provider in place but just can’t find the right person for the role, we can help to match the right person to your opportunity through our individual matching service. We will work with you to hand pick suitable candidates from our database of eligible, keen and well trained candidates. We will even work with you to make sure that any additional support or skill needs are addressed before they start their apprenticeship journey with you.

I am an individual interested in accessing an Apprenticeship and would like the support of an Apprenticeship Advisor:

  1. Check that you are eligible- at present this pilot is only offered to those in year 13 and this particular pilot is operating across the Greater London Area ( there are alternative pilots in other areas in the country and you should approach them directly).
  2. Ask your school or college if they are signed up to the pilot. If they are, they will be able to direct you. If they aren’t signed up then you should use this link to request support – https://earlyconnect.apprenticeships.education.gov.uk/

OTHER USEFUL LINKS FOR PARTICIPANTS AND EMPLOYERS

This is a trial service, and advisers are currently only available for year 13 students in three areas: Greater London, Lancashire and the North East.

Unfortunately, if your postcode falls outside these areas, and we are unable to offer you this service currently.

To help you in your search for an apprenticeship, please try these for support and advice:

Register your details on Find An Apprenticeship website:
This is our government website where we encourage all employers to list their apprenticeship vacancies:
https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship

You can register to receive alerts based on your interests, in your local area.

National Careers Service (NCS):
The NCS provides careers information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions at all stages in your career:
https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/

On the NCS website you can assess your skills, explore careers and courses and register to speak to a careers adviser.

Apprenticeships.gov.uk:
Our Apprenticeships website contains lots of information designed for young people considering apprenticeships as their next step:
https://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/

Find out how to become an apprentice, what apprenticeships are available, which employers offer them and information about starting your apprenticeship.

UCAS.com
The UCAS website has lots of great information including an Ultimate Guide to Finding An Apprenticeship:
https://ultimateguides.ucas.com/findinganapprenticeship/

You can also learn about different industries and take a career quiz to find your ideal job matched to your personality type.