Apprenticeship starts are up 15 per cent for the first quarter of 2018/19 compared with the same period in 2017/18.
There were 132,000 starts from August to October 2018, a rise of 17,700 or 15 per cent on the 2017/18 figure of 114,300, according to figures published by the Department for Education this morning.
But starts are still down from where they were for the same period in 2016/17, before the levy was introduced.
First reported starts for the first quarter of that year were 155,700, so the current year’s figures are 15 per cent – or 23,700 – below those figures.
According to the commentary published alongside today’s figures: “Apprenticeship starts in the first quarter of the 2018/19 academic year have increased in comparison to figures reported at this time in 2017/18, but are below equivalent figures reported at this time in 2016/17 and 2015/16”.
Skills minister Anne Milton said she was “thrilled” to see the latest statistics.
“Since we overhauled the apprenticeship system in 2017 more and more employers including leading firms like Royal Mail, Ernst and Young and Channel 4 are recognising the huge benefits apprentices are bringing to their workplaces,” she said.
“Apprenticeships offer people, of all ages and backgrounds, a high quality route to skilled employment with the option to train at every level. You get paid while you train and can start a great career in a huge range of professions like accountancy, nursing, teaching and law.
“I want as many people as possible to know about the amazing apprenticeship opportunities out there. Our new campaign, ‘Fire It Up’ is playing a vital role in this, helping to challenge outdated perceptions around apprenticeships and raising awareness of the huge variety of apprenticeship options available.”