[holding answer 11 May 2009]: The National Apprenticeship Service online vacancy matching system has been developed to provide a high quality service to employers wishing to recruit apprentices, and to young people and adults considering an apprenticeship. This will help deliver the objective outlined in World-class Apprenticeships to expand and improve the quality of our apprenticeship programme.
At the end of April 2009, 4,157 vacancies were live on the system; a total of 8,051 vacancies have been posted since 12 January 2009 when the system went live. 93 vacancies have been filled through the service with 2,445 vacancies having current applications. The figures at this stage provide provisional data on apprenticeship applications. Feedback from a number of employers suggest that the recruitment process can take up to four months. In addition, the system was built to allow employers flexibility to integrate the advertising of apprenticeship opportunities on the system, with their own HR systems. In these instances candidates click through the Vacancy Matching System to the employers' own recruitment website. The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) is looking at how feedback can be obtained from these employers, mainly national companies, without putting undue bureaucracy on them.