Monthly apprenticeships update: January starts up 15% but down 21% on 2017

Apprenticeship starts for January are up 15 per cent on last year but down 21 per cent on the same month in 2017 before the levy was introduced, new government figures have revealed.

There have been 29,100 starts recorded so far in January 2019, compared with 36,700 in January 2017 and 25,400 in January 2018, according to the Department for Education’s monthly apprenticeship statistics update published this morning.

January 2017 is a better comparator than January 2018 given that there was a huge drop in starts following the introduction of the levy in May 2017.

There have been 225,800 apprenticeship starts reported to date between August 2018 and January 2019 for the 2018/19 academic year.

This is 10 per cent up from the 206,100 reported in the equivalent period in 2017/18, but 16 per cent down on the 269,600 in 2016/17.

Skills and apprenticeships minister Anne Milton said: “It’s excellent news that the number of people starting on our new high-quality apprenticeships in the first two quarters 2018/19 increased by 10 per cent compared to last year.

“We overhauled the apprenticeships system almost two years ago to the day and we have made good and steady progress.

“I’m delighted that thousands of employers large and small are now embracing the huge benefits apprenticeships are bringing to their business and offering people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to progress.”