School leavers will be able to join the civil service apprenticeship fast stream from April, the Government has announced.

The first 100 apprentices, aged 18 to 21, will be recruited in April, and will learn on the job in government departments from September 2013 for at least the next two years.

The scheme is being launched at a time when departments are shedding thousands of civil servants, with many more to come under cutbacks coming down the line. At the Department for Education alone, the education secretary, Michael Gove, is planning to cut 1,000 of almost 4,000 civil servants.

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