The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper exploring some interesting stats on Apprenticeship starts and levels during 2017/18.

Apprenticeship Starts

The continued reduction in apprenticeship starts has continued, with 94,000 fewer people enrolling in an apprenticeship in 2017/18 than in 2016/17.

The burst of apprenticeships started in 2010/11, with a generally positive trend over the past 8 to 9 years, however, recent performance has been very poor.

Apprenticeship Characteristics

Despite my expectations that the Apprenticeship Levy would lead to a higher number of “older” apprenticeships, there has in fact been an increase in younger people getting on the career ladder via learning and earning.

The briefing paper also highlights how the 2017/18 cohort of apprenticeship stars was the first time more men than women enrolled since 2009/10.

There has been a percentage increase in people with disabilities taking on an Apprenticeship.

Apprenticeship Qualification Characteristics

Apprenticeship starts were of a higher level in 2017/18, a trend that I expect to continue with the recent introduction of Level 7 Degree Apprenticeships.

44% and 17% of apprenticeships were at an advanced (level 3) and a higher (level 4-7) level respectively.

2017/18 was the first time Level 7 Degree Apprenticeships really started coming onto the scene.

The number of stars at an intermediate level was at T-shirt lowest in any year since 2009/10. This is cause for serious concern as those who may benefit the most from a Level 2 apprenticeship could be struggling to find an opportunity which could change their life, emphasising how social mobility is becoming increasingly difficult for those furthest away from the employment market.

Apprenticeship standards (the fresh “new” type of assessments/learning methods) has largely increased, no surprise really considering the general switch over.

The most popular sector subject is Business, Administration and Law, again following trends over the past 8 to 9 years. Followed closely by Health, Public Services and Care and Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies.


Patrick Cantellow is an award winning Entrepreneur and social Ambassador. Starting a Community Interest Company aged 16 and working with some of the UK’s biggest non-profits and campaigns. Patrick calls himself a “Constructive Moaner” for important issues surrounding young people.

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