Latest figures published by the Department of Education show that apprenticeship starts have fallen once again.

Statistics released this morning show that new apprenticeships have dropped in what appears to be a continued decline since the start of the Apprenticeship Levy in 2017.

There have been 261,200 apprenticeship starts reported to date between August 2017 and March 2018 for the 2017/18 academic year. This compares to 362,400 and 346,300 starts reported in the equivalent period in 2016/17 and 2015/16 respectively. This is a drop of 27.92% from last year's figures.

Ben Rowland, Co-Founder of the UK’s leader in digital, IT and HR apprenticeships, Arch Apprentices says that:

We firmly believe employers need to look beyond the apprenticeship levy and embrace apprenticeships as an integral part of developing the UK talent pool, keeping us a competitive nation. Whilst the statistics show a downturn, this is because the apprenticeship levy will take time to bed in. We anticipate that there will be a plateau in apprenticeship starts over the summer and then a positive surge over the Autumn which is traditionally the time for people to begin these sorts of programmes. We know that employers and providers have been cautious about embarking on these programmes, partly because of the negative publicity around concerns about the apprenticeship levy and its efficacy. We also know from our own experience – where we engaged with the levy and employers very early, from 2016 onwards – that significant growth is possible. As the rest of the sector embraces the reality and opportunity of the levy, numbers across the board will catch up with the growth we’ve seen across digital and professional apprenticeships.  

The employers we’re working with, as varied as Estée Lauder, Omnicom Media Group and Worldpay, have confidently embraced it and are already reaping the rewards.”

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