Press release

Vince Cable celebrates two million apprenticeships

Vince Cable announces that the government has fulfilled its commitment to starting 2 million apprenticeships in this Parliament.

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


Business Secretary Vince Cable today (9 December 2014) announced that the government has fulfilled its commitment to starting 2 million apprenticeships in this Parliament. This important achievement highlights the continued success of apprenticeships since 2010 in giving people the skills they need to get on and in supporting businesses of all sizes to grow their talent.

To mark the occasion, the Business Secretary met the 2 millionth apprentice, Paige McConville in Oxford. Paige, aged 16, began her Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering Manufacture with high-tech engineering firm, FMB Oxford in August 2014. Paige took the Business Secretary on a tour of FMB Oxford, explaining how her apprenticeship with the firm is giving her the skills she needs to begin her career as an engineer. The Business Secretary also visited Abingdon and Witney College where Paige and her fellow apprentices study.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

Reaching the 2 millionth apprenticeship is testament to this government’s commitment to apprenticeships. Paige and her employer are a shining example of how apprenticeships give young people the chance to start a career and give businesses the talent to grow.

This isn’t just about numbers. From space engineering, to TV production, to legal services, apprenticeships are the ticket to a great job and a route employers trust to access the skills they need.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said:

Apprenticeships have a vital role to play in supporting the long term economic plan. Thanks to our reforms and through the support of employers like FMB Oxford, apprenticeships are a solid route into some of the country’s most prestigious professions.

Two million is just the start - I want to see more employers making apprentices a key part of their strategies for growth.

The Business Secretary also announced 22 new employer-designed apprenticeships in professions ranging from data analysis to civil engineering to health and social care. The employers, who are part of the government’s trailblazer scheme, design apprenticeships to meet the needs of their industries making sure people have the right skills to get on in the world of work.

Jayne Sloane, Group Training Manager of trailblazer employer Costain said:

The trailblazer apprenticeships give us the opportunity to ensure apprenticeships are fit for purpose and provide our industry with the skills needed for the future.

Over 1,000 employers, large and small, are now part of the trailblazers, designing top-quality apprenticeships to address their skills needs.

Notes to editors

  1. The number of apprenticeship starts since 2010 would fill the Olympic stadium 25 times over – that’s around the same size of the population of Birmingham and Leeds put together.
  2. FMB Oxford is a medium sized business (57 employees) making high tech scientific equipment used to create very accurate beams of X-rays. These are used in a variety of different fields of engineering including genetic sequencing and testing materials. Around 90% of the equipment they produce is for export to markets including Germany, the US and Singapore.
  3. There’s never been a better time to be an apprentice as there are more high quality apprenticeship places available with quality employers in England than ever before. The ‘Get In. Go Far’ campaign aims to inspire young people to consider an apprenticeship and benefit from the opportunity to earn while they learn, in some cases up to degree level. By ‘getting in’ with an employer they will be able to ‘go far’ in their chosen career and learn the skills employers want. The creative idea behind the campaign is to lift the lid and showcase the range of roles by featuring real apprentices. For more information please visit: and Apprenticeships Map
  4. List of new standards designed by employers:

Adult Social Care

  • Adult Care Worker
  • Lead Adult Care Worker


  • Aerospace Manufacturing Electrical Mechanical and Systems Fitter
  • Airworthiness Aircraft Maintenance Fitter / Technician (Fixed and Rotary Wing)


  • Building Service Engineer Site Manager
  • Construction Assembly Technician
  • Construction Quantity Surveyor
  • Construction Design Manager
  • Construction Management
  • Civil Engineering Site Manager
  • Highway Electrical - Maintenance and Installation
  • Highways Maintenance Supervision
  • Highways Maintenance Skilled Operative

Digital Industries

  • Data Analyst
  • Infrastructure Technician
  • Unified Communications Troubleshooter

Hair and Beauty

  • Beauty Professional
  • Hair Professional

Life and Industrial sciences

  • Science Industry Maintenance Technician

Public Service

  • Operational Delivery Officer


  • Retailer


  • Travel Consultant
Published 9 December 2014