Posted by Conor ● 14 May 2019

New Features on RateMyApprenticeship was founded back in 2013, and since then, the website has grown like a bamboo forest.

The site also now attracts 100,000 monthly visitors, and over 650 employers have been reviewed or advertised their opportunities with us.

We are rather excited to announce the introduction of a new location feature, and a revamp of our review process. Here’s everything you need to know!

New Location Features

The why

Young people tend to apply for local apprenticeships. A report by Trendence Research revealed that only 24% of school and college leavers are willing to relocate for an apprenticeship.

With this in mind, our team looked at the behaviour of users when using the search on our jobs page. They discovered that users were searching for specific terms, or in this context, specific locations.

For example, instead of searching for schemes in the ‘West Midlands’, they searched for apprenticeships in ‘Birmingham’. In most cases, they would search for even more specific locations within a city.

We had also received a fair amount of feedback from clients about how integral location was to their hiring process. Our ‘Featured Jobs’ service didn’t have a location feature, so students in Aberdeen could be advertised opportunities in London. Students were being advertised jobs that they simply weren’t going to apply for. It wasn’t good for clients’ employer branding, and it wasn’t driving applications.

new features on RMA

So, we put our dev team to work, and they built location-specific featured jobs. The main objectives for this new feature were as follows:

  1. Create the ability for students to find jobs near them by searching postcode, town or city, instead of using regional filters
  2. Allow clients to target students by location on the website by adding location specific-jobs
  3. Laying foundations for further location-based developments, delivering a best-in-class jobs search

How has this improved UX?

For young people looking for an apprenticeship, we’ve made it quicker and easier for them to find what they’re looking for.

The search is more granular; students can search within one mile of an entered postcode or town/city. This provides more precise results.

Imagine a student in Dundee, looking for an apprenticeship in Dundee. Before, they would use the search filters, and get a list of results of every scheme listed in Scotland. That was the only specificity the filters provided. Now, that student can enter their postcode, select whether they want results within a boundary of one, five or ten (or more) miles. They can search for an apprenticeship that really is local.

What does this mean for employers?

Your jobs are now far more accessible to students in the locations you’re targeting. Another little scenario might help explain...

Iphone X MockupPicture the situation, a company is advertising roles based in Slough on RateMyApprenticeship. In previous years, students looking for roles in Slough will have selected the ‘South West’ filter.

The results would have shown jobs all over the wild South West. But now, when students are searching, they can filter out all the other irrelevant jobs (that are not located in Slough).

In other words, when a student is looking for an apprenticeship, if you have roles in their desired location, your company’s name will be the first they see.


Updated Review Process began as a review platform, just as did back in 2007. And according to Glassdoor, they remain a valuable resource. They reported that 70% of young people look at reviews of employers before making career decisions.

Since 2013, more than 20,000 reviews have been submitted on RateMyApprenticeship. Recently, we updated the review process, with three key objectives in mind:

  1. Creating bespoke questions for different types of scheme
  2. Reducing incomplete reviews and improving the user experience for young people when they submit a review
  3. Introducing Training Provider questions

Let’s break it down…

1. Creating bespoke questions

The review questions hadn’t changed much since 2013, until a few months ago, when a number of employers got in touch. They all commented that the review questions weren’t suitable for reviewing their shorter-term work experience schemes.

We realised that the reviews were a tad apprenticeship-centric. Some of the questions weren’t relevant to other types of work experience. So we made a change…

Three new questions were added for students reviewing general work experience. You can see an example below:


Work experience programmes are much shorter in duration than apprenticeships. The questions are all tailored to the brief nature of work experience to ensure the feedback and comments are as relevant and helpful as they can be.

2. Reducing incomplete reviews and improving UX

50% of reviews started in 2017 were not completed. We knew that figure could be improved. The reviews make up RateMyApprenticeship’s Top Employers, and we want that Top 100 to be the most comprehensive table in the market. That means more reviews.

 It also bugged us that so many reviews were left incomplete. We wanted the process of leaving a review to be dreamlike. A doddle. But it clearly wasn’t. Perhaps improving the user experience would fix this. So this is what we did:

-       We streamlined the process. There are now just two stages of completing a review, (there were three stages before). This, we thought, should reduce the dropout.

-       We also reduced the number of questions from twelve to ten.

-       The review saves after each question has been answered. Previously it wouldn’t save until all questions were answered.

-       A progress bar has been added. Now a reviewer can see how much of the review is left to complete. 


Since we made these changes, the review completion rate has improved from 50% to 62%. Three cheers for that.

Why is this cracking news for employers? 

An increase in the quality and quantity is cracking news for employers and students. The reviews provide young people with authentic, trusted and honest insights and information about specific types of apprenticeships. They find out what it’s really like to work for a particular company.

But the reviews also provide employers with priceless feedback about their own schemes. In the early days, employers were a little bit frightened of online reviews. The thought of negative feedback being published on the net was like a Nightmare on Elm Street.

 And then they began to see the value of the information inside the reviews. They could help employers improve their schemes, underline specific areas that could be enhanced and show them the path to attracting top talent. That’s why it’s cracking news.

3. Training provider questions

Training providers are integral to the apprenticeship market, much in the same way that universities are in the undergraduate market.


We thought it was important to celebrate training providers and encourage them to engage with RateMyApprenticeship.

Two further questions have also been added which focus on the training provider.



This addition adds significant value to reviews going forward, especially for young people considering the apprenticeship path. The level of support and quality of training that the training providers offer is valuable information, and enables students to make more informed choices.

The Top Apprenticeship Training Providers 

RateMyApprenticeship’s Top Employers will be revealed at the fifth annual RateMyApprenticeship Awards this July. The Top 100 celebrates the best employers, but as of yet, training providers have not been benchmarked or celebrated in the same way. Until now.

Including questions about Training Providers in the review process has allowed us to calculate the Top Apprenticeship Training Providers table. The table will be announced at the Awards too, and we’re very excited about it.

Looking to advertise your roles? 

Get in touch to find out how we can enhance your school and college leaver attraction.


Topics: RMP News, School & College Leaver