A Closer Look at the Success of Apprenticeships

Astoundingly, over 23,000 apprenticeship opportunities are listed on average every month. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that apprenticeship participation has hit a record high in the last academic year, 2016/17. There was a total of 491,300 apprenticeships that academic year, a sign-up increase of 14.5% on the previous year with 384,500 starts. Many analysts of the figures might attribute the success of apprenticeship programmes to that fact that 89% of apprentices are satisfied with their apprenticeship and 97% of employers said the same. It seems that the programmes have a good reputation across both employers and participants — so is the success expected to continue?


What are the demographics of apprentices?

Although many people think that apprentice programmes are targeted at school leavers, they are attractive to all ages. In fact, of the 491,300 apprentice starts in 2016/17, 24.6% of them were under 19 years old. However, in the same academic year, people aged 25 and over dominated apprenticeships with 46% of starts accounted by the 25 and over population. A figure that isn’t surprising when statistics show that the number of participants in higher or degree apprenticeships have increased significantly, from 740 to 3,880 — and in September 2017, there were 39,000 commitments to apprentices ages 25 and over. The number of starts for people ages 19 to 24 years old, although still higher than under 19s, was the lowest since 2009/10 at just 29%.

This year though, the demographics have varied. So far, under 19s have dominated apprenticeship programmes, with 41% of all apprenticeship starts in the first quarter of 2017/18 started by under 19s. This is a normal trend to be noted, as the higher percentage accounts for young school leavers moving onto further education from school. Starts by those over the age of 15 dropped to just 29%.


What are the sector trends in apprenticeships?

There are some sectors that dominate when it comes to hiring apprenticeships — four subject areas accounted for 86% of all apprenticeship starts in 2016/17. According to a briefing paper from the House of Commons Library, the Health, Public Services and Care, and the Business Administration and Law sectors hold the joint top spot for the most sign ups — with Business Administration and Law losing single occupancy of the top spot for the first time following 7,000 more starts in the Health, Public Services and Care sector from 2015/16. Both sectors experienced 138,000 starts in 2016/17. In second place, Retail and Commercial Enterprise had 75,000 starts and in fourth, Engineering and Manufacturing experienced 74,000 starts.

Although those sectors are popular for people looking to take on apprenticeships, there is more choice. Essentially, there is something for everyone. From Construction, Planning and the Built Environment to ICT, Leisure Travel and Tourism, and Education and Training.


What are the attitudes of apprentices?

Overall, apprentices have a positive attitude surrounding their apprenticeship. Nearly all apprentices believe that they acquire and improve their skills as a direct result of the apprenticeship programme they are enrolled on. Furthermore, it offers both young and old to earn a wage whilst learning on the job. According to the Education & Skills Funding Agency, 97% of apprentices said their ability to do their job had improved, whilst a further 92% said their career prospects had improved with more than 90% of apprentices currenting going into work or further training following their programme.

Figures from the last academic year showed that 912,200 people were actively participating in an apprenticeship, 12,800 more than in the year before. Figures from the previous academic year revealed that 271,700 people successfully completed an apprenticeship in 2015/16, up 10,800 on the previous year — suggesting that achievement and completion figures could continue to rise as participation rate increase, too.


What are the attitudes amongst employers?

It’s known that many employers across the UK are often subject to a shortage of qualified workers. Apprenticeship programmes give companies an opportunity to train staff whilst on the job, but usually at a fraction of cost of a fully qualified, full-time employee. And it is not just money-saving benefits that keep employers happy.

Statistics show that 87% of employers are satisfied with the apprenticeship programme that they offer, 76% of them believe the programme has helped improve productivity and a further 75% think it has helped to improve the quality of their product or service. Furthermore, because of the success of the programmes, more than 76% of employers offer their apprentices a full-time job following the programme’s completion — only 24% said they didn’t offer further full-time work.

It’s clear to see that there are benefits for both parties. 87% employers also believe their apprenticeships give young adults an advantage when applying for jobs over those who haven’t participated, and 60% say they are willing to offer a salary between £14,000 and £18,000 per annum to former apprentices.

What do you think about the appeal of apprenticeships? Are those figures enough to convince you that apprenticeships deliver continued success for both the apprentice and employer? With so many higher education routes to choose from, it is often difficult for people to choose which road to take. Apprenticeships offer benefits for both parties, with learning on the job a preferred method amongst many industry professionals. Does your company welcome apprentices? If not, maybe it is time to consider the successful education programme.

This article was created by retailer of button badges, Badgemaster.











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One thought on “A Closer Look at the Success of Apprenticeships

  1. Great Read,

    I found this article interested, young people are often pushed into university through their schools or colleges. I found the part of the article which says 87% of apprentice employers are happy with the program they offer. I think more people are realizing how benefiting an apprenticeship can be.

    Keep the good work up!


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