Fall in numbers of IT and construction apprenticeships

Thousands of apprenticeships have been lost in the last five years, particularly in the construction and IT sectors, according to statistics revealed in the Independent.

Although figures show that more than 2.2 million apprenticeships have been created since 2010 – and the government plans to create a further three million by 2020 – detailed statistics show that some sectors are still struggling.

For example, there were 16,890 construction, planning and built environment apprentices in 2009-10, but this had more than halved to barely 8,000 just four years later.

Furthermore, there were 10,510 apprentices who entered the information and communications technology sector in 2010-11, but this fell to under 8,000 for the following two years.

Diana Johnson, the Labour MP for Kingston upon Hull North said that although overall apprentice figures appear to be rising, “if you dig down into areas like construction and ICT the record is not good. Technology is particularly worrying, as that’s about the future.”

Apprenticeships in health, public services and care rose from 28,230 in 2009-10 to nearly 58,000 four years later, whilst those in agriculture, animal care and horticulture expanded 22.4 per cent to 4,480 over the same time.

The Skills minister, Nick Boles, commented on the figures: “We want far more employers to get involved in apprenticeships. This means making sure that we practise what we preach in government, so we’re going require all public-sector bodies – schools, hospitals, prisons and police forces – to employ apprentices.”