Apprenticeships have hit an all-time high. More than 23,000 apprenticeship opportunities were recorded every month in the last academic year, 2016/17 and there was also 491,300 apprenticeships during that period, too. This was a sign-up increase of 14.5% on the previous year, with 384,500 starts.
Some people who analysed this data might credit the success of apprenticeship programmes to the fact that 89% of apprentices are satisfied with their apprenticeship and 97% of employers agreed. It seems that the programmes have a good reputation across both employers and participants — so is the success expected to continue?
Apprentice statistics: the current situation
Despite many peoples’ beliefs to the contrary, apprenticeship programmes are for apprentices of all ages, not only those leaving school. 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%.
In the current academic year, the ratio of demographics suggests something different compared to 2016/17. 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%.
Apprenticeship by sector: who is making the most of apprentices?
Research also shows that the popularity of apprenticeships is industry-dependent, as it seems as if four areas accounted for 86% of all the 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 the sectors above appear to be clear winners when it comes to popularity of apprentices, the choice of other professional industries offering these programmes make the whole idea of apprenticeships attractive to a wide network of people. Essentially, there is something for everyone. From Construction, Planning and the Built Environment to ICT, Leisure Travel and Tourism, and Education and Training.
What do employers think…
So, what makes apprenticeship programmes attractive to employers? Major reasons are the often the inexplicable fallof qualified workers for a sector or role, as well as employees who require further training when processes are updated. 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.
Nearly 90% of employers are happy with their apprenticeship programmes. Plus, 76% of them believe the programme hashelped improve productivity, while a further 75% think it has helped to improve the quality of their products or services. 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.
What’s more, 60% of employers state that they would give a salary between £14,000 and £18,000 per annum to former apprentices, and a massive 87% said that apprenticeships give young adults an advantage when applying for jobs over those who haven’t taken on an apprenticeship.
What do apprentices think…
We can also see that apprenticeships attract a positive review from those people whoa actually enrol on them. For example, most apprentices think that they acquire and improve their skills as a direct result of their apprenticeship programme. 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.
912,200 people were taking part in an apprenticeship during the previous academic year — which is 12,800 more than the year before. Also, 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.
Have the facts and figures above transformed your view of apprentices? With so many higher education routes to choose from, it is often difficult for people to decide on 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 this successful education programme.
This article was created by button badges retailer, Badgemaster.