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Jon Kennard


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News: 32% increase in online apprenticeship applications


New data (i) released today by the National Apprenticeship Service reveals that online pprenticeship applications have increased by nearly a third (32%) year on year, with over 1.4 million (1,403,920) applications made for vacancies in the past 12 months.

Apprenticeships continue to appeal to employers, with close to 129,000 vacancies posted online in 2012/13 compared to 101,000 in 2011/12, representing growth of 27%. But with each online vacancy now attracting an average of 11 applications, the Government is urging more employers to consider how hiring an apprentice could benefit their business.

Matthew Hancock MP, Skills Minister, said:

"We want to see it become the norm that young people either go to university or into an apprenticeship. To match the growing popularity of apprenticeships, I would urge more employers to consider how hiring an apprentice could benefit their business.

“Research out last week showed that more than 70% of employers say apprentices boosted their service or product (ii) – this is testament to the benefits of apprenticeships for both young people and the wider economy." 

Among the fastest growing apprenticeships, in terms of the percentage increase in vacancies advertised online, are Health Optical Retail (590% increase year on year), Vehicle Sales (500%), Facilities Management (263%) and Health Clinical Healthcare Support (iii). Apprenticeships in the Arts, Media and Publishing sector were most in demand during the past 12 months, with an average of 19 applications per vacancy (iv). The most competitive job areas were Live Events and Promotion (35 applications per vacancy), Plumbing and Heating (33) and Marine Industry (28). 

The data also reveals the top five most popular apprenticeship types applied for and vacancies advertised during 2012/13 (v).

Top Five Apprenticeship applications    

  • Business and Administration (384,840 online applications made).  (Position in 2011/12 – 1)
  • Children and Young People’s Workforce (Childcare) (102,450) (2)
  • Customer Service (98,210) (3)
  • IT, Software, Web and Telecoms Professional (83,760) (5)
  • Vehicle Maintenance and Repair (67,750) (4)    

Top Five Apprenticeship vacancies

  • Business and Administration (31,558 vacancies posted online) (Position in 2011/12 – 1)
  • Customer Service (12,091) (2)
  • Hospitality and Catering (8,372) (3)
  • Children and Young People’s Workforce (Childcare) (7,043) (4)
  • IT, Software, Web and Telecoms Professional (6,486) (6)

Jaine Bolton, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service said: “These figures show that the demand for apprenticeships keeps growing. It is the first choice for many talented young people and more employers wanting young talent need to wake up to this fact.

“With such strong demand for apprenticeships, it is vital that we encourage more employers to take advantage of the benefits that apprenticeships bring. With dedicated support from the National Apprenticeship Service and the AGE 16-24 grant available to small and medium businesses, there really has never been a better time to recruit an apprentice.

“86% of apprentices stay in employment after their initial apprenticeship finishes (vi), so it’s no surprise that more than half of young people would choose an apprenticeship if one was available. 

“That is why we are continuing to grow the range of opportunities that are available for potential apprentices.  Apprenticeships increasingly reflect the exciting world of work and they now cover over 1500 job roles in 170 different industries, with qualifications up to degree level in many sectors.” 

Potential applicants are also taking advantage of new ways to search for vacancies. A new Av Search app for iPhone and Android which launched in February has already been downloaded by almost 11,000 people.

Other key highlights from the 2012/13 data include:

  • The most popular day for submitting apprenticeship applications in the period was 10 June 2013 when 7893 applications were made in 24 hours.
  • Vacancies for Higher and Advanced Apprenticeships have increased most significantly year on year with growth of 172% and 51% respectively. Intermediate Apprenticeships grew by 23%.
  • London recorded the highest growth in the number of online vacancies advertised, with 17,154 vacancies available in 2012/13 compared to 11,908 in 2011/12, an increase of 44%. The number of online apprenticeship vacancies in the South West increased by 40%, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber (34%) and the South East (33%).
  • London also saw the most competition for places, with potential apprentices submitting almost 285,000 applications, an average 17 applications per vacancy, followed by the North East and West Midlands (both 13).
  • Apprenticeship vacancies in Windsor and Maidenhead grew by 208% in the past year, the largest increase recorded across England, followed by Hammersmith and Fulham (190%) and Havering (123%)
  • The biggest jump in applications submitted was seen in Rutland (246%) followed by Newham (124%) and Blackburn with Darwen (117%).

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Jon Kennard

Freelance writer

Read more from Jon Kennard

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