Press release

Over 20,000 new apprentice jobs pledged for National Apprenticeship Week

More Traineeships also announced by leading employers.

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


Even more people will get an opportunity to earn while they learn, after more than 20,000 new apprenticeships have been pledged by employers as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

From Lloyds Banking Group committing to hiring 5,000 apprentices, Greene King and Whitbread pledging 2,000 a piece and EE, Mitchells and Butlers and Starbucks each announcing 1,000 vacancies, announcements have been made by hundreds of businesses around the country.

And it’s not just big corporates that are showing their commitment to apprenticeships – 47% of the employers creating new apprenticeships are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Smaller organisations announcing plans to take on apprentices include Cambridgeshire retailer Crafting Time, Kent web designers Interactive Red, London charity Lives Not Knives, Grimsby electrical contractors HYBRiD, Oldham construction firm Emanuel Whittaker and Penzance customer services company TR18 Contact.

Other companies that have pledged new apprenticeships include BT, ITV, Network Rail, Be Wiser Insurance, Central Bedfordshire Council, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Ashtead Plant Hire, Southend Citizen Advice Bureau and Virgin Media. Meanwhile, Capita Personal Independence Payment have pledged to make 5% of its non-healthcare workforce apprentices and launched a drive to hire more disabled young people onto apprenticeships.

And National Apprenticeship Week has also seen a boost to the new traineeships, which give young people the work preparation training, English, maths and work experience they need to get an apprenticeship or other job.

Employers including the BBC and Port of Tilbury have pledged to give more young people traineeships – as have Liverpool Football Club through a partnership with Myerscough College. Meanwhile, Westminster Kingsway College has launched a new Parliamentary Traineeship programme so 16 to 23 year olds can get a chance to gain experience in the corridors of power.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

The government is putting an end to the damaging divide between vocational and academic learning. We are committing the biggest ever investment in apprenticeships and are on track to create 2 million apprenticeships over the course of this parliament.

The resounding success of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week demonstrates that apprenticeships are deservedly becoming more popular with business of all sizes. Apprentices already contribute £1.8 billion to the economy and with these further commitments, thousands more people will now be able to get the practical skills they need to build careers and help firms grow.

Today’s (7 March 2014) announcement follows new research revealing that nearly half (44%) of employers intend to take on 1 or more apprentice in the next 5 years. And research from the Association of Accounting Technicians revealed that apprentices delivered around £1.8 billion of net economic benefits to UK organisations in the last year.

The week has also seen the prime minister announce the government’s commitment to creating 2 million apprenticeships over the lifetime of the current parliament. David Cameron also announced the next round of trailblazer employers; 29 new groups of employers who will lead the transformation of apprenticeships. The new trailblazers, spanning sectors from accountancy to aviation, nursing to retail, include small businesses and sector specialists as well as some big names such as Tata Steel, John Lewis, British Airways and BMW.

Other announcements during the week included the launch of new higher, degree level, apprenticeships in space engineering and nursing. And to help bring more SME employers on board, further support has been announced including a new online mentoring service, Apprenticemakers. Meanwhile, the AvLive feed of vacancies which training providers and partners can use to promote apprenticeship vacancies has been upgraded following a successful 6-month testing period.

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock MP said:

We want to make going to university or into an apprenticeship the new norm, and over half of young people say they would like to do an apprenticeship if one were available. So it’s great that as National Apprenticeship Week 2014 comes to a close we can announce that 20,432 new positions are to be created.

In order to give young people the best chance possible of securing an Apprenticeship or job and unlock their potential, we need to help them become work-ready. The new traineeships will be crucial to that.

Apprenticeships are delivering for employers, young people, adults and the economy and are increasing at a record rate. Nearly every employer that takes on an apprentice reports benefits to their business, including the ability to grow their own talents.

Now in its seventh year, National Apprenticeship Week is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy. The overarching theme for 2014 has been Great Apprenticeships, to demonstrate that apprenticeships are great for business and personal careers and create opportunities for both employers and apprentices.

Visit or for more information.

Notes to Editors

1.The ‘20,000 apprenticeships pledged’ figure is sourced from monitoring press coverage during National Apprenticeship Week, through press releases sent to National Apprenticeship Service and registrations on the National Apprenticeship Service Pledgeometer.

2.Employers pledging Apprenticeships:

  • The Centre for Mineral Products Professional Development
  • A.P. Broome Landscapes Limited
  • Accord Group
  • Adatis Consulting Ltd
  • ADI
  • Affinity Sutton
  • Ageing in Great Britain CIC
  • Aim High Training Solutions Ltd
  • Anchor
  • Anglian Water
  • Aon
  • Aquafax
  • Ashtead Plant Hire
  • Atkins
  • Atos
  • aVida Care Ltd
  • Babcock International
  • Balfour Beatty
  • Barlows (UK) Ltd
  • Barratt Developments PLC
  • Be Training Academy Ltd
  • Be Wiser Insurance
  • Becton Dickinson UK Ltd
  • Belvior Lettings
  • Benslow Music Trust
  • Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
  • Blackpool Council
  • Bolton Council
  • Boots
  • Bradleys Estate Agents
  • Brent Council
  • Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival
  • British Airways
  • 10Brooklyn House
  • Brunelcare
  • BT plc
  • Bury Council
  • Capita Talent Partnerships
  • Carlisle City Council
  • Casgo Connections Ltd
  • Caterpillar
  • Central Bedfordshire Council
  • Central Training Academy
  • Centro
  • Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
  • Cheeky Munkey
  • Cheshire West and Chester Council
  • Chevron Traffic Management
  • Claremont PR
  • Clarkson Evans
  • Clocktower
  • Compass Group UK and Ireland
  • Covea Insurance
  • Crafting Time Ltd
  • Cumbria County Council
  • Dale Power Solutions Ltd
  • Danbro
  • Dance East
  • Dataflow Peripherals
  • Days Lettings
  • Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
  • Defence Support International
  • DEG Signal Ltd
  • Derby Homes
  • Derry Building Services
  • DKFS Training Ltd
  • e2v
  • EE
  • Emanuel Whittaker
  • Enable
  • esg.
  • Everton in the Community
  • Farmfoods Limited
  • Fisher Management
  • Frankie and Benny’s
  • Fujitsu
  • Full Circle Learning
  • Futures Housing Group
  • Gestamp Tallent Ltd
  • Ginger Nut Media
  • Gist Limited
  • Glotech
  • Greene King
  • GSK
  • GSM England Retail UK
  • Hailey Hall School
  • Hayward Tyler Limited
  • HBP Systems Ltd
  • Henley College Coventry
  • Heritage Foundation
  • Hertfordshire County Council
  • Hopwood Hall College
  • HYBRiD (Grimsby) Ltd
  • IBM UK Ltd
  • IMPACT Apprenticeships
  • Interactive Red
  • ITV
  • J Murphy and Sons Ltd
  • James Paget University Hospital
  • Kingswood
  • KLM UK Engineering Limited
  • KMF
  • Kruger Associates Ltd
  • Kustom Clothing
  • La Bote
  • Lafarge Tarmac
  • Laing O’Rourke
  • Lakefield Foods
  • Lancashire County Council
  • Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Learning Unlimited
  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Leicester City Council
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • Lucy Glyn Support Services Ltd
  • Mainstay Group Ltd
  • Mayor of London
  • McCann Manchester
  • Meroncourt
  • Merseylink CJV
  • Milton Keynes Service Partnership LLP
  • Mitchells and Butlers
  • Morecare Ltd
  • MPR Music Production
  • National Sales Academy
  • Nemco
  • Network Rail
  • New Charter Housing Trust Group
  • New Wolsey Theatre
  • Next Retail Ltd
  • NG Bailey
  • Nominet
  • Nomura International PLC
  • Norbert Dentressangle
  • North Hertfordshire College
  • North Hertfordshire District Council
  • North Lincolnshire Homes
  • Northumberland County Council
  • Not Going to Uni
  • Nottingham City Council
  • Nyama
  • O2
  • Paneltex Limited
  • Paxman Landscapes Uk Ltd
  • PHOENIX Medical Supplies Ltd/ Rowlands Pharmacy
  • Pinnacle Support
  • Pixel by pixel
  • Plymouth Apprenticeship Company
  • Plymouth City Council
  • Portmill Surgery
  • Pursuit Training
  • Quite Great Limited
  • Redrow Homes
  • Reed NCFE
  • Richard Ward Hair and Metrospa
  • RNLI
  • Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Rotherham NHS
  • Rugged and Tough Ltd
  • Sanctuary Personnel
  • Santander UK
  • Sarah Hodge Hairdressing Group
  • Scientifica Ltd
  • SCWS Limited
  • Selco Trade Centres
  • Sequence
  • Serco Vocational Services
  • Severn Trent Water
  • Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHSFT
  • Silver Trowel Ltd
  • Skill-serve Training Ltd
  • Smiths Row
  • South Glos Council
  • South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Southampton Solent University
  • Southend CAB
  • South West Trains
  • Stafford College
  • Starbucks Coffee Company
  • Stronghold International Ltd
  • Syngenta
  • TCA Lifting Ltd
  • TES2000 LTD
  • Thames Water Utilities Limited
  • The apprentice agency
  • The College of West Anglia
  • The Flying Music Company Limited
  • The ITP
  • The Juice Academy
  • The Manufacturing Technology Centre
  • The Red Lion
  • The Sanctuary Group
  • The Social Resource Centre Ltd
  • The Walton Centre FT NHS
  • The Way Ahead Training and Consultancy Ltd
  • Thompson and First Choice
  • Timico Ltd
  • TMB Patterns Limited
  • TNT Post
  • TR18Contact
  • Trade and Discount Signs
  • Transport for London
  • Travelodge
  • UKFast
  • United Utilities
  • Virgin Media
  • Walsall Works programme
  • Walter Smith Fine Foods Ltd
  • Warren Services
  • Warwickshire County Council
  • Way ahead Care
  • way Homecare
  • West Notts College
  • Wheatfield Surgery
  • Whitbread
  • William Hill
  • WSP
  • York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Yorkshire Housing
  • YPO

3.National Apprenticeship Service

The National Apprenticeship Service supports and co-ordinates the delivery of apprenticeships and traineeships throughout England.

It is responsible for increasing the number of apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities and providing a dedicated, responsive service for both employers and learners. This includes simplifying the process of recruiting an apprentice or trainee through apprenticeship vacancies, an online system where employers can advertise their vacancies and potential apprentices or trainees can apply.

Apprenticeships bring considerable value to organisations, employers, individuals and the economy. Businesses across the country are increasingly realising the enormous benefits that apprenticeships create, not only in terms of developing a highly skilled workforce but also by boosting productivity and staff retention.

Research shows that apprenticeships are an optimal way of training, developing and skilling people for the future, helping businesses to secure a supply of people with the skills and qualities they need and which are often not available on the external job market.

A traineeship is an education and training programme with a work placement that is focused on giving young people the skills and experience that employers are looking for. At its core are work preparation training, English and maths for those who need it, and a high quality work experience placement.

Traineeships are for young people aged 16 to 23 who are motivated to get a job but who lack the skills and experience that employers are looking for. Traineeships prepare young people for their future careers by helping them to become ‘work ready’. They give young people the skills and experience to be able to compete for an apprenticeship or other job.

Traineeships are a stepping stone to future success for young people, businesses and the wider economy.

There has never been a better time to employ an apprentice, or start an apprenticeship.

Visit or call 08000 150 600 to find out more.

4.Skills Funding Agency

The Skills Funding Agency is a partner organisation of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). Its job is to fund and promote adult further education (FE) and skills training in England, including traineeships and apprenticeships, in a way which supports economic growth. The agency delivers £4.1 billion of skills training through contracts with over 1,000 colleges, private training organisations and employers, with a highly effective supply chain that means FE meets local need in the most cost-effective way.

Within the Skills Funding Agency, there are 2 customer-facing services: the National Apprenticeship Service, which is responsible for increasing the number of traineeship and apprenticeship opportunities, and the National Careers Service, which provides impartial careers information, advice and guidance online, by telephone or face-to-face.

5.The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set 4 ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

Published 7 March 2014