From education to employment

Latest DfE data reveals monthly apprenticeship starts from August 2022 to July 2023- Sector Response


The 336,510 apprenticeship monthly starts reported to date for the provisional 2022/23 full academic year (August to July) are 3.3% lower than the 347,920 reported at the same point in the previous year.

DFE latest data from yesterday (12th October 2023) covers additional information on monthly apprenticeship starts for the period of August 2022 to July 2023, based on data reported by providers in September 2023.

This update presents the most recent information available for the provisional 2022/23 full academic year. It’s important to note that the latest data will always have some level of incompleteness, particularly for the most recent month reported, as providers continue to refine and update their records.

Month by month breakdown

Starts reported so far for August and September 2022 (18,610 and 71,960) are lower than those reported at the same period in 2021 (14.7% and 11.9% lower respectively), whilst the starts in October 2022 (41,790) are 15.6% higher.

Between November and July, monthly starts have been more in line with those seen at the same period the previous year. The 18,790 starts reported for July 2023 are 5.2% higher than the 17,860 reported for July 2022. 

Read the full report here.

Sector Response

Dr Lisa Morrison Coulthard, NFER’s Research Director on education to employment and social mobility, said:

“The continued decline in apprenticeship starts amongst young people and people from disadvantaged backgrounds of all ages is a concerning indicator that barriers, including low wages and minimum grade entry requirements, persist.

“The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in 2017 sought to promote apprenticeships as a pathway into employment via sustainable funding. The new data shows that by 2022/23 around two-thirds of all apprenticeship starts were levy funded, increasing to four in five Higher Apprenticeship starts.

“However, with fewer disadvantaged and younger learners accessing this levy, they are potentially missing out on the benefits offered by this funding.

“The Government should commission a review of the long-term decline in 16-19-year-old apprenticeship starts, and the sustained under-representation of apprenticeship starts from disadvantaged young people. In particular, the Apprenticeship Levy should be redesigned to ringfence funding for 16–18-year-old apprentices.”

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