Press release

Apprenticeships and traineeships move from strength to strength

New figures show that the number of people taking part in apprenticeships and traineeships is on the increase.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The number of people taking part in apprenticeships and traineeships is on the increase, new figures published today (25 March 2015) have revealed.

Provisional figures for the first half of the 2014 to 2015 academic year show significant growth in the number of people on an apprenticeship or traineeship compared to the same period last year. Almost 670,000 people were learning while earning with an apprenticeship during the first half of the year, including more than 400,000 16 to 24 year olds.

Meanwhile, traineeships continue to gain momentum, with more than 9,000 traineeships started since August 2014 alone. Traineeships give young people the essential skills and work experience they need to get an apprenticeship or other job.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said:

Apprenticeships deliver for employers, young people, adults and the economy. Today’s figures show that the long-term economic plan is working as more and more people across the country reap the benefits of apprenticeships.

I am greatly encouraged to see the significant growth in traineeships. Despite only being in their second year, traineeships are equipping thousands of young people with the experience and skills essential for the workplace.

Importantly, the figures show strong growth in the number of people taking higher apprenticeships, with more than 19,000 people participating in a higher apprenticeship during the first half of the year. Despite being relatively new, higher apprenticeships are growing fast and are providing new entry routes into professions such as accountancy and law.

A skilled population is vital to maintaining the international competitiveness of the economy while giving people the opportunity to fulfil their potential. Today’s data has also revealed that in England more than 80% of adults aged 19 to 64 are qualified to at least Level 2, equivalent to 5 or more GCSEs at grades A* to C. This shows an increase year-on-year since 2008.

Notes to editors

  1. The March 2015 statistical first release (SFR) contains new data showing provisional figures for the first 2 quarters of the 2014 to 2015 academic year (August 2014 to January 2015) on apprenticeships, English and maths, Community Learning, Offender Learning, Employer Ownership Pilot, 24+ Advanced Learning Loans, traineeships and Labour Force Survey data on the level of highest qualification held by adults in England (2008 to 2014).
  2. The data is available at Further education and skills: statistical first release
  3. Supplementary data to the Outcome Based Success Measures also published today is available at Adult further education: outcome based success measures - experimental data 2010 to 2011. The data provides national rates of learner destinations into sustained employment and sustained learning for around 1,000 qualifications relating to learners completing study in academic year 2010 to 2011.
  4. If you’re interested in taking on an apprentice call the National Apprenticeship Service on 08000 150 600 or go to
Published 25 March 2015