House of Commons Library

Apprenticeship statistics for England

Published Thursday, November 17, 2016

This note presents and analyses data on the number of people starting apprenticeships in England and statistics for Parliamentary Constituencies in England from 1996 to 2016.

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Skills and training are devolved policy areas. This Briefing Paper covers apprenticeships in England. Sources of information on apprenticeships in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are included in the Commons Briefing Paper, Apprenticeships Policy in England.

Constituency data on apprenticeship starts are available in the Constituency Apprenticeship Statistics spreadsheet accompanying this Briefing Paper.

Unless stated otherwise data in this paper are from the FE Data Library.

Apprenticeship starts in 2014/15

In 2015/16, there were 509,400 apprenticeship starts in England, 9,500 more than the previous year.

Starts by age

People aged 25 and over accounted for 44% (224,100) of apprenticeship starts in 2015/16. People aged 19-24 accounted for 30% (153,860) and under 19s 26% (131,420).

Sector and framework

As in previous years, the majority of apprenticeship starts were in the service sectors. Almost three quarters (71%) of all starts were concentrated in three sectors: Business, Administration & Law; Health, Public Services & Care and Retail & Commercial Enterprise.


In 2015/16 the highest number of apprenticeship starts was for Intermediate apprenticeships (Level 2) with 291,330 starts, followed by 190,870 Advanced (Level 3) and 27,160 Higher (Level 4 and above) apprenticeships. Higher apprenticeships represented 5% of all starts, up from 4% the year before. Intermediate apprenticeships fell from 60% to 57% of all starts between 2014/15 and 2015/16.


In 2015/16, 53% of apprenticeships starts were by women (268,730) and 47% by men (240,630). The number of women starting apprenticeship in England has been higher than men for every year since 2010/11.

Participation and achievements

904,800 people were on an apprenticeship in 2015/16 (‘participation’) up from 871,000 the year before.

260,900 people successfully completed an apprenticeships in 2014/15 up 5,100 on the previous year.

Commons Briefing papers SN06113

Author: James Mirza Davies

Topics: Employment schemes, Training

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