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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Rise in apprenticeships masks fall in starts by young people

Responding to the latest official statistics on the number of apprenticeships released today, the think tank IPPR warns that employers are shifting workers onto apprenticeships in order to continue getting government funding.

Tess Lanning, IPPR Senior Research Fellow, said:

"The increase in apprenticeships is very welcome. But much of that growth has come from over 25s, rather than in places for young people. Over 25s now take 44% of all apprenticeships. What's more, workplace skills training for adults has fallen by 275,400 places, suggesting that employers have simply shifted their workers onto apprenticeships in order to continue getting government funding."

Notes to Editors

The latest stats on apprenticeships are published today and available from:

From 2009/10 to 2010/11 there was a jump in apprenticeship starts of 63.5% to 457,200, including a welcome increase in apprenticeships for young people and in higher level apprenticeships. But also a three-fold increase in apprenticeships for over-25 year olds to a total of 182,100 (accounting for 40% of total apprenticeships)

Provisional data for 2010/11 to 2011/12 shows apprenticeship starts are up to 502,500. But for young people they are down on last year (126,300 compared to 131,700 last year), while apprenticeships have grown for 19-25s (156,300 from 143,400 last year) and particularly for 25+ (219,900, up from 182,100 last year, or 44% of total.)

In parallel, there has been a fall in workplace learning from 599,300 starts in 2010/11 to 323,900 (a fall of 275,400).


Richard Darlington, 07525 481 602, [email protected]