Under-19 apprenticeships on the rise, according to latest figures

The number of young people studying for an apprenticeship is increasing, with higher-level apprenticeships also on the rise, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has reported.

According to provisional figures released today (21 January) examining starts in the last three months of 2015, more than 150,000 people aged 19 and under in England began an apprenticeship.

There were at least 11,000 new starts in every region. In addition, more young people undertook training to gain skills and experience in preparation for an apprenticeship or other job.


‘Doors open’

Skills minister Nick Boles said: “Young people today have more doors open to them than ever before.

“Today’s figures show that savvy young people see apprenticeships as a fast-track to a successful career. Apprenticeships are real jobs that combine studying with hands on experience in the workplace.

“Apprenticeships and traineeships are creating the highly skilled and productive workforce that is supporting our country’s economic growth. We are on the right track to delivering three million apprenticeships by 2020.”


Not all good news 

However, Stewart Segal, chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, tempered the ministers optimism, saying: “Adjustment of the provisional data for 2015-16 may lead later to better figures, but we are concerned that the programme is not growing at a pace we would like and in particular for 19-24 year olds.

“We feel that delays in responding to providers’ growth requests at the end of last year and now in respect of 16-18 apprenticeships this year are bound to be a factor in limiting any acceleration in growth and this needs to be addressed if the overall picture across all ages and all levels is going to improve.  Not all 19+ growth requests during this year have been approved and we are still waiting on the 16-18 responses as well which is a real concern when we are already half way through the year.”

There have been 268,000 apprenticeship starts so far in the current parliament.