DetailFacts about apprenticeships


Did you know…

  • in 2014 the most popular apprenticeship was health and social care
  • since 2010, there have been over 2 million apprenticeship starts in England 
  • apprenticeships are available in over 170 industries including aerospace, fashion, broadcast media and finance – with 1500 job roles available
  • in 1914 most apprentices started work aged 15 to 17, compared with 19 to 24 today
  • women now take up 55% of apprenticeships
  • 19% of advanced apprentices progress to Higher Education
  • higher apprenticeships are available in 40 subjects
  • 100 years ago the most common apprenticeship was dressmaking, followed by engineering
  • 90% of apprentices stay in employment after finishing their apprenticeship (includes 2% self-employed)
  • 71% of apprentices stay with the same employer
  • 82% said their apprenticeship had improved their ability to do the job and 79% said that their career prospects had improved 
  • 100 years ago an apprentice could be summoned to court for being ‘idle’ or having a ‘bad attitude’
  • more than 850,000 people have been earning and learning on an apprenticeship in 2013 to 2014
  • up to 25,000 apprenticeship vacancies available online at any one time
  • there were 1.4 million online applications in 2012 to 2013
  • there has never been a better time to employ an apprentice, or start an apprenticeship

Facts about apprenticeships and the economy

  • the National Audit Office has estimated that for every pound of government investment in apprenticeships, the economy gets £18 back
  • when wider benefits are included, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills estimated the return on investment to be even higher, at £28 for every pound of government investment
  • £1.566 billion government investment in 2013 to 2014
  • apprenticeships estimated to contribute £34 billion to the UK economy in 2014

Sources: SFA data; National Audit Office; Ancestry; the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

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