More than 11,000 people started on a higher apprenticeship programme in the six months to January, government figures have revealed.
This represents a dramatic increase in the number of young people taking advantage of advanced apprenticeships.
The figure brings the total number of people who were on a higher apprenticeship course between August 2015 and January this year to 30,000. In total, there have been 366,000 apprenticeship starts during this parliament so far.
The statistics also showed that apprenticeships are growing in popularity with learners aged 16 to 19, with more than 84,000 apprenticeship starts among this age group in the same period.
Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “Apprenticeships offer the life-changing opportunities working people deserve. The growth in the number of higher apprenticeships is fantastic, and shows that apprenticeships deliver the advanced, technical skills businesses need.
“Apprenticeships and traineeships are creating the highly skilled workforce our employers and economy need. We are well on our way to creating three million apprenticeships by 2020.”
As well as the dramatic growth in higher apprenticeships, the figures also revealed a strong increase in the number of apprenticeships at all levels, with 2.7 million apprenticeship starts since May 2010.
There were also 12,400 traineeships started between August 2015 and January 2016.