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News: 20,000 apprenticeship vacancies now available


New figures from the National Apprenticeship Service reveal that up to 20,000 Apprenticeships will be available online.

While the number of vacancies available on varies from day to day, the highest number of apprenticeships recorded in the last three months was 20,615 (on 21st June 2013) [1].

With more than half (54%) of young people in England wanting to do an apprenticeship if one were available [2] and figures from youth website Not Going To Uni showing 71% of employers would recommend young people do an apprenticeship [3], the National Apprenticeship Service is anticipating one of the busiest days for young people to apply for Apprenticeships.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said:

“With more vacancies than ever before, Apprenticeships are fast becoming the norm for young people who want to achieve their career goals through an alternative route to University. We want more employers to take advantage of the advice and support available from the National Apprenticeship Service and consider how hiring an apprentice could benefit their business."

The increasing popularity of Apprenticeships among young people comes after business research showed that employers find apprentices 15% more employable than young people with other qualifications [4]. In the study, employers ranked higher apprentices as the most employable of all young people – above those with degrees [5].

David Way, Executive Director, National Apprenticeship Service said:

“A-Level results day can be a really stressful time for young people, especially as they wait for their results.  The good news is that with ever more Apprenticeships, there is an increasing range of high quality options available to young people.

Higher Apprenticeships in particular are ideal for A-Level achievers who want to progress onto further learning, but also want to get a foot on the career ladder at the same time.  Higher apprentices have the opportunity to gain degree-level equivalent qualifications at the same time as being in paid employment.  There are an increasing number of opportunities opening up in prestigious occupations and employers as more and more use Higher Apprenticeships as a way of attracting the best talent.”

“Last year, the National Apprenticeship Service saw a record number of applications for apprenticeships on A-Level results day, and with up to 20,000 vacancies now available online at any one time, this summer we’re expecting that the number of young people applying for an Apprenticeship could hit a new high.” [6]

On, a host of information films and guidance on ‘how to apply for an Apprenticeship,’ is being backed by new resources including:

  • A new ‘How to make a flying start to your Apprenticeship’ film which features three apprentices, employers and a NAS representative offering tips and advice to young people who are about to embark upon an Apprenticeship for the first time.
  • An online ‘Apprentice Support Pack’ featuring hints and advice on starting an apprenticeship.

Joe Billington, Director of the National Careers Service, said:

“Young people getting their results today should take pride in their achievement. The National Careers Service is here to support everyone that is getting their results this month and encourage them look at their options and decide what to do next. There are lots of exciting opportunities out there.”

A special #ResultsAdvice service will run on Twitter and Facebook between the 15th and 29th August to give young people the opportunity to ask questions about their exam results, Apprenticeships and wider career options.

The National Careers Service can be contacted free on 0800 100 900 from 8am to 10pm or go online for information and advice or to talk to an adviser via webchat. The young people's section has lots of useful information to help young people make decisions about their future.

[1] While the number varies from day to day (on 13.08.13 there were 18,836 available), the NAS does not use the phrase ‘over 18000’ as they are unable to guarantee a minimum number of vacancies available online at any one time. In addition, other vacancies are available advertised by employers directly.
[2] ICM interviewed 1000 14-24 year-olds from 3rd-11th May 2013 from England. The percentages refer to all those saying they would ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ like to do an Apprenticeship if one were available.
[3] See
[4] Data released 8 April 2013. Employers were asked to rate the employability of people with different qualifications on a scale of 1-10 where 1 was not at all employable and 10 was very employable. The mean rating for those with an Apprenticeship was 7.36, the mean rating for all others was 6.382.  The percentage increase was therefore calculated as (7.36-6.382)/6.382x100 = 15%. For more information see:
[5] Those with Higher (degree) level Apprenticeships were given an employability rating by employers of 7.98. The percentage increase was calculated as (7.98-6.382)/6.382x100 = 25%.

[6] National Apprenticeship Service data. For more information on 2012 applications data visit:

Author Profile Picture
Jon Kennard

Freelance writer

Read more from Jon Kennard

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