Figures show dramatic rise in apprenticeship starts

Figures show a drastic rise in apprenticeships

More companies taking on apprentices

Figures released on 31st January have revealed that apprenticeship starts have nearly doubled over the past two years, with 520,600 people beginning an apprenticeship in 2011/12. This represents an increase of 13.9% from 2010/11 and 86.1% since 2009/10.

A significant rise of 67.6% was seen in higher apprenticeship programmes. The Government introduced the GBP25 m Higher Apprenticeship Fund in July 2011, which has been the catalyst for 29 projects aiming to create 20,000 apprenticeship positions over the next three years in professional careers such as law and accountancy.

Business Secretary, Vince Cable, said: “Whenever I speak to businesses, a lack of trained workers is a frequent concern. Today’s figures mean we are starting to turn the tide. Over half a million people took up an apprenticeship last year, showing that our investment in vocational skills is paying off.

Skills Minister, Matthew Hancock, said: “Apprenticeships are vital to the Government’s drive to create a more highly skilled workforce who are better able to compete in the global race. This big increase in higher apprenticeships is giving people the opportunity to follow work-based pathways into professional careers in engineering, the legal sector and accountancy, while earning. This is a result of our determination to put vocational education on a par with academic learning, and we are developing this further in 2013 by extending apprenticeships to include graduate and post-graduate level learning. We are strengthening apprenticeships to make them more rigorous, and to respond to the ever-changing needs of the modern workplace.”