The number of people taking part in apprenticeships and traineeships is on the increase, new figures published today have revealed.
Provisional figures for the first half of the 2014/15 academic year show significant growth in the number of people on an apprenticeship or traineeship compared to the same period last year. Almost 670,000 people were learning while earning with an apprenticeship during the first half of the year, including more than 400,000 16-24 year olds.
Meanwhile, traineeships continue to gain momentum, with more than 9,000 traineeships started since August alone. Traineeships give young people the essential skills and work experience they need to get an apprenticeship or other job.
Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “Apprenticeships deliver for employers, young people, adults and the economy. Today’s figures show that the long-term economic plan is working as more and more people across the country reap the benefits of apprenticeships.
“I am greatly encouraged to see the significant growth in traineeships. Despite only being in their second year, traineeships are equipping thousands of young people with the experience and skills essential for the workplace.”
Importantly, the figures show strong growth in the number of people taking higher apprenticeships, with more than 19,000 people participating in a higher apprenticeship during the first half of the year. Despite being relatively new, higher apprenticeships are growing fast and are providing new entry routes into professions such as accountancy and law.
A skilled population is vital to maintaining the international competitiveness of the economy while giving people the opportunity to fulfil their potential. Today’s data has also revealed that in England more than 80 per cent of adults aged 19 to 64 are qualified to at least Level Two, equivalent to five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C. This shows an increase year-on-year since 2008.