Apprenticeships play a crucial role in equipping the UK workforce with the necessary skills and qualifications. The latest data for the 2023/2024 academic year reveals several important trends and changes in apprenticeship participation, achievements, and starts. Here’s an in-depth look at the key statistics and what they mean for the future of apprenticeships in the UK.

Increase in Apprenticeship Starts

The number of apprenticeship starts from August 2023 to January 2024 rose to 200,550, marking a 2.5% increase from the previous year. This growth is encouraging, highlighting the increasing recognition of apprenticeships as a valuable pathway to employment. Notably, under 19s accounted for 28.9% of these starts, with advanced and higher apprenticeships seeing significant uptake.

Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships

Advanced apprenticeships comprised 43.3% of all starts, while higher apprenticeships made up 35.3%. Higher apprenticeships, in particular, experienced a 9.1% increase, reflecting the growing demand for higher-level skills in the job market. Apprenticeships at Levels 6 and 7 also saw a notable rise, increasing by 5.8% to 32,500 starts, which represents 16.2% of all starts.

Achievements and Participation

Apprenticeship achievements have seen a substantial increase, rising by 18.5% to 73,530 compared to the previous year. This improvement indicates that more apprentices are successfully completing their programmes and obtaining qualifications. However, overall participation in apprenticeships has decreased slightly by 2.4%, with 621,750 participants, suggesting that while starts and completions are improving, retention and ongoing participation need continued focus.

Funding and Support

A significant proportion of apprenticeship starts (62.9%) were supported by the Apprenticeship Service Account (ASA) levy funds, underscoring the importance of financial support in driving apprenticeship uptake. The ASA continues to play a critical role in making apprenticeships accessible and sustainable for employers and apprentices alike.

Regional and Sectoral Insights

Regional disparities remain, with participation rates varying across the UK. Sectors such as Health, Public Services, and Care, as well as Business, Administration, and Law, continue to dominate apprenticeship starts. However, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has shown significant growth, highlighting the increasing importance of digital skills.

How Startingpoint Supports Apprenticeships

Startingpoint plays a vital role in the apprenticeship landscape by connecting students, employers, and apprenticeship providers through a unique platform. Students can create profiles, browse available apprenticeships, and engage directly with employers. This streamlined process ensures that young people find suitable apprenticeship opportunities while employers can access a pool of talented candidates. By offering resources and support, Startingpoint helps bridge the gap between education and employment, fostering successful apprenticeship experiences.

Conclusion

The data from 2023/2024 showcases positive trends in apprenticeship starts and achievements, reflecting the growing recognition of apprenticeships as a viable and valuable educational pathway. Despite a slight decline in overall participation, the increase in higher-level apprenticeships and completions is promising.

At Startingpoint, we are committed to supporting both apprentices and employers. Our platform provides resources, connections, and guidance to ensure that apprenticeships continue to thrive and evolve, meeting the needs of the modern workforce. For more detailed information, you can explore the full report here.