Apprenticeships Wales – creating an online vacancy search platform

Apprentice in work environment

We had the privilege of collaborating with the apprenticeships team at Welsh Government to develop an online platform for hosting and searching apprenticeship vacancies in Wales. 

Our primary focus was to create a user-friendly digital service that seamlessly connected apprentices with employers. The platform allowed users to search for apprenticeships based on criteria including name, location, sector, and apprenticeship level, while also providing comprehensive information on each vacancy. Here's a breakdown of our approach and the key features we implemented:

Understanding user needs

We began by conducting an in-depth kick-off session with the Welsh Government team to understand the needs of their users and define the top tasks. With the help of proto-personas, we gained valuable insights into the target audience, allowing us to develop an intuitive information architecture. We translated this architecture into wireframes and incorporated designs that adhered to the GOV.WALES Global Experience Language (GEL) design standards. The designs underwent a thorough review process by the central Welsh Government GEL compliance team to ensure a seamless user experience and brand adherence.

Mobile screens

Building a powerful and accessible platform

Using Drupal as our development platform, we created a service that prioritized accessibility and underwent rigorous cross-browser testing. The platform featured robust search functionality that integrated with Google's geocoding service, enabling users to filter apprenticeships based on location. Additionally, the integration with Google Maps provided a visual representation of the apprenticeship locations, enhancing the overall user experience.

We seamlessly incorporated membership and login functionalities through the Welsh Government's Single Sign-On Solution, SOC (Sign On Cymru). The platform also included comprehensive apprenticeship moderation capabilities, an email notification system, and a reporting suite that offered valuable insights for site administrators and members to track vacancy views.

Enabling data consumption and sharing of data

In addition to the user-focused functionalities, we created an employer area that allowed employers to directly add and manage their vacancies within the listing. These listings underwent a meticulous moderation process by the Welsh Government Apprenticeships team to ensure quality and accuracy. To expand access to the apprenticeship data, we developed a JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) API (Application Programming Interface) that facilitated data consumption by third-party organizations such as UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) and Careers Wales. This integration extended the reach of apprenticeship opportunities and enabled a seamless experience across various platforms.

What we did

  • Conducted a kick-off session and created proto personas to understand user needs and define top tasks.
  • Developed an intuitive information architecture, wireframes, and designs in line with GOV.WALES GEL standards.
  • Built a user-friendly digital service powered by Drupal, ensuring WCAG 2.1 AA compliance and cross-browser compatibility.
  • Implemented a robust search functionality with integration to Google's geocoding service and visual representation through Google Maps.
  • Integrated membership and login features using the Welsh Government's Single Sign-On Solution, SOC.
  • Enabled comprehensive moderation of apprenticeship listings and implemented an email notification system.
  • Provided a reporting suite for site administrators and members to track vacancy views.
  • Created an employer area for employers to add and manage their vacancies with a rigorous moderation process.
  • Developed a JSON API for third-party data consumption by organizations such as UCAS and Careers Wales.

This comprehensive approach allowed us to deliver a user-centric online platform that enhanced apprenticeship opportunities and streamlined the application process, while also empowering employers and enabling data integration for wider accessibility and reach.

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