There have been 369,700 apprenticeship starts reported to date between August 2017 and July 2018 for the 2017/18 academic year, and provides the provisional full year number of starts for the 2017/18 academic year.

This compares to 491,300 and 503,700 reported in the equivalent period in 2016/17 and 2015/16 respectively. Of these 369,700 apprenticeship starts reported so far in 2017/18, 161,700 were on apprenticeship standards.

  • Level 2 starts for the academic year 2017/18 were at 159,400. This is alarmingly a drop of 39% from 2016/17 and a drop of 45% from 2015/16. In numbers, the level 2 starts for these years were 260,700 and 291,300 respectively.
  • With regards to 16-18 starts, there were 105,300 at all levels in 2017/18. A fall of 14% from 2016/17 and 20% from 2015/16. In numbers, there were starts of 122,800 and 131,400 in 2016/17 and 2015/16 respectively.
  • Furthermore, the overall figures for 16-24 apprenticeship starts also show a downward trend, with the figure of 217,100 for 16-24 across all levels showing a reduction of 18% from 2016/17 and 24 from 2015/16. The figures for these years were again 265,000 and 285,300 respectively.

MarkDawe 100x100With regards the 25% fall in total starts for each of the last two years, Mark Dawe, Chief Executive, AELP said:

"The Chancellor has evidently smelt the coffee by ordering a review and the Education select committee has got its finger on the pulse on what needs to be done to turn these disastrous numbers around. 

"As we head towards Brexit with sectors such as hospitality and care homes crying out for more home grown apprentices, DfE ministers have got to finally take action by removing the recently introduced policy barriers that disengaged smaller businesses and dramatically reduced the apprenticeship opportunities for young people."

Ben Rowland100x100Ben Rowland Co-founder, Arch Apprentices, said:

"As has been a general theme of the last 18 months since the levy’s introduction, the number of starts has fallen by 25% for the last academic year. This is not surprising considering the challenges of getting used to a new system and changing people’s perception of apprenticeships.

"But, a real positive from this release is that provisional numbers month by month for this year look like they’re up on the same month the previous year. This gives us real hope that employers are beginning to see the real benefits of the levy and start using it to train and develop their teams. 

"We wait with baited breath to see whether the spike seen last September is repeated or even surpassed this year!”

Apprenticeship and levy statistics: October 2018 - main text

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Apprenticeship and levy statistics: October 2018 - main tables

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Monthly apprenticeship starts by sector subject area, framework or standard: October 2018

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Annex: changes to further education statistics, including apprenticeships, in 2018

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Apprenticeship and levy statistics: October 2018 - pre-release access list

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Details

This publication provides headline experimental statistics on the use of the apprenticeship service. These include apprenticeship service account registrations (ASAs) and numbers of commitments (reported to September 2018), where an apprentice who is expected to go on to start has been recorded in the system.

Additionally, monthly apprenticeship starts information (reported to date) covering the full 2017 to 2018 academic year are also presented. These figures are still provisional and are subject to revision. Finalised monthly apprenticeship starts data covering the full 2017 to 2018 academic year will be published next month.

For more further education statistics, please refer to the FE and skills statistics publications, and the FE data library.

For further information about this publication or to provide feedback, please contact:

Further education statistical dissemination team

Matthew Rolfe
Department for Education
2 St Paul’s Place
125 Norfolk Street
Sheffield
S1 2FJ

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