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Apprenticeships facts & figures


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 509,400 apprenticeship starts in the 2015 to 2016 academic year of which 131,400 were under 19.
  2. There are, on average, 23,000 apprenticeship opportunities listed on find an apprenticeship every month.
  3. There were 1,656,680 online apprenticeship applications in 2015 to 2016.
  4. More than 2,600 employers are involved in designing the new apprenticeships standards.
  5. Over 510 apprenticeship standards have been published or in development, with over 165 ready for delivery.
  6. There have been 12,200 starts on new standards since their introduction with 7,500 of these starts reported so far in the first two quarters of the 2016 to 2017 academic year.
  7. There are currently 100 higher and degree apprenticeships available, with more in development, 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. 36% of higher apprentices report getting a promotion after completing their apprenticeship.
  13. Nearly 9 out of 10 (89%) apprentices were satisfied with their apprenticeship overall, and nearly three quarters (72%) were very satisfied.
  14. The majority (92%) of apprentices in work felt that their apprenticeship had had a positive impact on their career.
  15. Almost 9 out of every 10 apprenticeship employer hoping to achieve business benefits tell us that apprenticeships deliver.
  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. 6% of apprentices were from a BAME background in 2015, we are working to increase this by 20% by 2020.
  18. Apprenticeships have helped to train 7% more females into STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) roles.
  19. Traineeships have been developed by employers making them a great stepping stone to an apprenticeship or other job.
  20. 94% of employers consider traineeships an effective way of increasing young people’s chances of finding paid jobs and apprenticeships. 

Useful links: 

Apprenticeship Levy

Apprenticeship funding: how it will work – information on apprenticeship funding, including the apprenticeship levy and the online apprenticeship service.

Pay Apprenticeship Levy  when you have to pay apprenticeship levy and how to report your payments.

Apprenticeship Levy Manual – this manual is a guide to the apprenticeship levy and published by HMRC.

Apprenticeship Funding

Apprenticeship funding: how it will work  how apprenticeship funding will affect employers from May 2017, including the apprenticeship levy and the online apprenticeship service.

Apprenticeship Standards

Apprenticeship standards – the approved apprenticeship standards developed by employers.

How to develop an apprenticeship standard: guide for trailblazers  guidance for groups of employers (trailblazers) on proposing and developing a new apprenticeship standard.