Stat of the day: 100,000

The number of new apprenticeships the Government hopes UK firms will create by 2014

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
As Apprenticeship Week kicks off, Business Secretary Vince Cable is promising the government will invest £1.4bn into the training schemes over the next year.  

The government hopes to encourage UK firms to create 100,000 more places in vocational training between now and 2012 - and in three years time hopes that 400,000 people will be enrolled as an apprentice.

The increasing popularity of apprentice schemes (in which young people train on the job) has gained coverage after the government announced it would be trebling university tuition fees last year.  But it’s also the result of a long-term government plan under the Labour Government: between 1997 and 2010 the number of apprenticeships rose from 60,000 to around 280,000.

And it seems that businesses are seeing the benefit of taking on school leavers who have trained on the job. In a survey published by City & Guilds, the vocational education organisation, more than half of the 500 employers questioned said they thought apprentices were more valuable to the company than graduates. But there’s likely to be huge competition for such places. Last year BT received more applications for its apprentice scheme than the number who applied to Oxford University. A sign that many school leavers are already opting out of the academic route?

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