Press release

Dramatic increase in the number of higher apprenticeships – new figures released today

Provisional figures released today (23 March 2016) show a dramatic increase in the number of people starting higher apprenticeships.

  • more than 11,000 higher apprenticeships started between August 2015 and January 2016
  • 366,000 apprenticeship starts so far in the current parliament
  • the government is committed to driving up the number of higher and degree apprenticeships as part of commitment to 3 million by 2020

Young people are taking advantage of new high quality apprenticeships that take learners right up to degree level and give them the skills they need to build a career.

Provisional figures released today (23 March 2016) show a dramatic increase in the number of people starting higher apprenticeships. The official figures show that there were more than 30,000 people on higher apprenticeships between August 2015 to January 2016.

The figures also show that there are more young people starting apprenticeships, with over 84,000 starts by under 19 year olds between August 2015 to January 2016.

Higher apprenticeships are delivering for employers and training the next generation of engineers, computer developers and chartered accountants. Some of the biggest companies in the country already offer higher apprenticeships and many are involved in designing new degree apprenticeships.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said:

Apprenticeships offer the life changing opportunities working people deserve. The growth in the number of higher apprenticeships is fantastic, and shows that apprenticeships deliver the advanced, technical skills businesses need.

Apprenticeships and traineeships are creating the highly skilled workforce our employers and economy need. We are well on our way to creating 3 million apprenticeships by 2020.

As part of the drive towards 3 million apprenticeships by 2020, the government is committed to increasing the number of higher apprenticeships that deliver the high-tech, highly demanded skills employers are calling out for. Last year the government launched degree apprenticeships that bring together the very best in academic learning and hands on training.

While Ministers were today celebrating the dramatic growth in the number of higher apprenticeships, the figures also showed strong growth in the number of apprenticeships at all levels, with 2.7 million apprenticeship starts since May 2010.

Furthermore, the figures show that there were 12,400 traineeships started between August 2015 to January 2016.

Notes to editors