Adult apprenticeship starts have continued to accelerate in the first three months of 2012, while the number of starts aged 16 to 18 has dropped, new data has shown.

Provisional figures, published by the Data Service in the Statistical First Release (SFR) today, show that the number of new apprentices aged 25 and above has risen to 53,300 in the first quarter of 2011/12, compared to 27,600 in the same period last year (an increase of 93%).

Meanwhile the number of new apprentices aged 16 to 18 is shown to have dropped by three per cent in the same period.

The total number of new apprenticeships starts hit 457,200 in 2010/11, up 14,500 from provisional figures published in October last year.

Apprentices aged 25 and above rose to 182,100 last year, making up roughly 40 per cent of total starts.

In comparison the number of new apprentices aged 16 to 18 rose to 131,700 in 2010/11, a 13 per cent increase on the previous 12 months.

The SFR shows better movement in the number of new apprentices aged between 19 and 24, rising by 26 per cent to 143,400.

(Click here for FE Week’s apprenticeship anaylsis of the SFR statistics)

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