Nine key findings from new DfE employer and apprentice surveys

The Department for Education released new data into the views and experiences of apprenticeships today.

A survey of more than 5,000 apprentices was carried out while around 4,000 employers were also surveyed.

FE Week has pulled out the key findings.

 

Apprentices

 

1. Awareness is on the rise

Understanding that their course or training was part of an apprenticeship has risen to 76 per cent, from 70 and 67 per cent in 2017 and 2015 respectively.

Awareness among level 4+ apprentices has “particularly increased” from 57 per cent in 2015 and 64 per cent in 2017 to 81 per cent in 2018/19

 

2. But satisfaction has fallen

Overall 86 per cent of apprentices were satisfied with their apprenticeship and 7 per cent were dissatisfied. However, satisfaction has decreased, and dissatisfaction has grown, compared to the 2015 and 2017 surveys (89 per cent and five per cent in both years). 

 

3. Just 30% comply with the off-the-job training rule

The survey results found that many apprentices have experienced significantly less training than required by apprenticeship funding rules.

Only 30 per cent of apprentices received formal training equivalent to at least 20 per cent of their working hours, while 50 per cent received either no formal training or an equivalent to less than 10 per cent of their working hours.

Overall, the proportion of apprentices undertaking formal training decreased to 82 per cent from 86 per cent.

 

4. Large majority go into employment

Only four per cent of respondents were unemployed following an apprenticeship although this was higher in apprentices with a disability (nine per cent) and those who had completed for arts and ICT apprenticeships (eight to nine per cent). 


Employers

 

5. Offers mostly go to young people

Employers were more likely to offer, or have ever offered, apprenticeships to those aged under 19 (74 per cent) or between 19-24 (80 per cent) than to those aged 25 plus (53 per cent).

However, the amount offering to those aged 25 and over increased from 46 per cent in 2015 and 2017 while the other proportions remained similar.

 

6. Apprenticeships for existing staff on the rise

The proportion of employers whose apprentice completers were all existing staff prior to the apprenticeship starting has increased to 31 per cent from 27 per cent.

The number of employers who recruited brand new apprentices declined to 64 per cent, down from 69 per cent in 2017.

 

7. Employer satisfaction on the rise

Eighty-five per cent of apprentice employers were satisfied and 63 per cent reported they were very satisfied.

This was a slight increase from 2017, when 84 per cent were satisfied but another drop from 2015 when 87 per cent were.

Overall, five per cent of employers were dissatisfied, a small decline from six per cent two years prior.

 

8. Impact of the levy

Among large employers eligible for the levy, 24 per cent reported that, as a result of the reforms, they had increased or started apprenticeships for existing employees.

In addition, 18 per cent had increased apprenticeships for managers.

 

9. Level 6 and 7 apprenticeships

The apprenticeship levy, or funds in an apprenticeship account, were provided as the most likely reason for employers to offer a level 6 or 7 apprenticeship (24 per cent) – this rose to 42 per cent for employers with 50 or more employees at the site.

Employers offering these were larger in size (67 per cent had 25 or more employees at the site).