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Key facts about apprenticeships

Updated 21 February 2017

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This page has been withdrawn as the information is out of date. You can find find out more information about apprenticeships on GOV.UK.

Applies to England

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

  1. Apprenticeship participation now stands at a record level - there were 491,300 apprenticeship starts in the 2016 to 2017 academic year of which 121,250 (24.6%) were under 19.
  2. There are, on average, 23,000 apprenticeship opportunities listed on find an apprenticeship every month.
  3. There were 1,656,630 online apprenticeship applications made in 2015 to 2016.
  4. Employers are designing new high-quality standards to replace frameworks to ensure apprenticeships are more responsive to their needs.
  5. Over 520 apprenticeship standards have been published or in development, with over 200 that are approved for delivery.
  6. There were 23,700 starts on apprenticeship standards in 2016 to 2017.
  7. There were over 1,670 degree level apprenticeship starts in 2016 to 2017, including foundation degrees, HNDs and full honours degrees. These include job roles ranging from legal services to banking and engineering.
  8. Nearly all apprentices feel that they acquire or improve their skills as a direct result of their apprenticeship.
  9. 89% of apprentices are satisfied with their apprenticeship; 97% of apprentices said their ability to do the job had improved, and 92% of apprentices said their career prospects had improved.
  10. Over 90% of apprentices currently go into work or further training.
  11. Higher apprentices could earn £150,000 more on average over their lifetime compared to those with level 3 vocational qualifications.
  12. On average, achieving a level 2 or level 3 apprenticeship boosts earnings by 11% and 16% respectively. Although there is variation by subject, most subjects deliver a return of around 10%.
  13. Nearly 9 out of 10 (89%) apprentices were satisfied with their apprenticeship overall, and 97% of apprentices said their ability to do the job had improved.
  14. The majority (92%) of apprentices in work felt that their apprenticeship had had a positive impact on their career.
  15. Apprenticeships are more likely to be undertaken in small (0 to 49 employees) and large-sized employers (250+ employees), with 44% of apprenticeship participation within small employers and 41% of apprenticeship participation in large employers, in 2014 to 2015.
  16. 87% of employers said they were satisfied with the programme, 76% say that productivity has improved and 75% reported that apprenticeships improved the quality of their product or service.
  17. 11.2% of apprentice starts in 2016 to 2017 were from a BAME background, we are working to increase this by 20% by 2020.
  18. We are using the employer Diversity Champions Network to champion gender representation in apprenticeships amongst employers in industries where improvement is needed - including ensuring more women are able to access STEM apprenticeships.
  19. Traineeships have been developed by employers making them a great stepping stone to an apprenticeship or other job.
  20. In 2016 to 2017 there were 15,900 traineeship completions, an increase of 4% from 15,300 at the same point in 2015 to 2016.