New figures reveal dramatic rise in Welsh apprenticeships

New figures have revealed a dramatic rise in the number of people starting an apprenticeship in Wales.

The figures show that in 2012/13 just over 28,000 people in Wales started apprenticeships, compared to 17,900 in 2011/12. Higher Apprenticeships have also seen a surge in popularity, with the latest figures showing that 2,275 Higher Apprenticeship starts were created. This compares to just 280 in 2011/12.

The Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Ken Skates, said: “As the latest labour market statistics have shown, youth unemployment is falling faster in Wales than it is in the UK. These record apprenticeship figures provide a very powerful demonstration of why Wales is bucking this trend.

“Twenty eight thousand new apprentices, in one year, is an impressive figure and many of these new learners will continue with their apprenticeship training during well into next year.  Financial support is in place to ensure they continue with their learning so they can achieve their apprenticeship aspirations.  

“I’m particularly pleased to see the significant increase in those securing Higher Apprenticeship places. Higher Apprenticeships should be on a level footing with a place at a top university and today’s figures show that we’re certainly heading in the right direction in achieving this. Apprenticeships offer a unique package of support, qualifications and experience and make no mistake – they are playing their part in bringing down long term youth unemployment. That’s why the Welsh Government has invested additional funding in its Apprenticeship Programme and, as these figures suggest, we’re seeing a fantastic return on this investment.”