Responding to the recent figures from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) indicating that Apprenticeships are more successful than ever, spokespeople from both the LSC and the Association of Learning Providers (ALP) have expressed their pleasure at the news.

The report, based on figures from Work Based Learning Providers and Colleges, shows that during the academic year of 2004 / 2005, some 67,000 learners achieved their Apprenticeship Framework Certificate, an increase of 15,000 on the preceding year. A record number of young people (aged 16 "“ 21) have started their Apprenticeship programme in this period, and the 176,900 new Apprentices beats the Public Service Agreement (PSA) target of 28 % (176,500).

Completion rates are higher than ever, with the statistics showing that more apprentices are completing the entire Apprenticeship programme - 39% of all leavers completed the course this year compared with just 31% in 2003/04. Additionally, 51% of all leavers gain at least an NVQ qualification. This is expected to be one point on a steady graph of improvement. In 2002 / 2003, 43,149 young people completed their Apprenticeships. It is hoped that the completion rate will be increased by 75% to 75,511 young people completing their Apprenticeships by 2007 / 2008.

Stephen Gardner Sees Bigger Picture

The Director of Work Based Learning for the LSC, Stephen Gardner, welcomed the news and saw it as part of a bigger picture: "The achievement of the starts target is not just great news for young people and employers, but also the wider UK economy, as Apprenticeships are vital to combating existing skill shortages and ensuring we have a future workforce to match our global competitors.

"When the target was set in 2001, 137,000 16-21 year olds started on an Apprenticeship for the first time. Meeting the target today means that 40,000 more young people are gaining the skills they need for their future and many are earning a wage too.

"The combination of more young people starting Apprenticeships and a rapidly improving achievement rate is a tremendous step in the right direction," he continued. "Although we still have more to do to further increase the number of young people successfully completing Apprenticeships, the figures to date for 2005/06 show that the improvement trend is continuing."

Graham Hoyle Sees Key to Workforce Success

Mr. Gardner also recognised the work of the frontline providers in the FE sector, saying: "We are most grateful to the training providers and colleges for their contribution to achieving the target and driving up quality of training to make Apprenticeships more appealing to young people and employers than ever before."

Graham Hoyle, the Chief Executive of the ALP, also welcomed the news, and sees it as a promising sign that all those involved on both sides of learning and training are seeing the benefits of Apprenticeships. He said: "Seeing 176,900 new young people choosing the Apprenticeship route, demonstrates the high regard that more and more young people, and their parents, have for Apprenticeships."

He continued: "They see it as the route to a successful working life. An increasing number are fully completing the Apprenticeship and it will be important to carry on driving up this figure if we are to fully develop the skills that the nation needs to stay globally competitive."

Jethro Marsh

How can the LSC and ALP work closer than ever for more achievements in the future? Tell us in the FE Blog


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Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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