Academic Year 2019/20

Apprenticeships in England by industry characteristics

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  1. This update reallocates a small number of starts to their correct region, where previously their region was recorded as 'Not available'.

This release presents statistics on apprenticeship starts by their employer enterprise characteristics.

Data from the Individualised Learner Record (ILR), Apprenticeship Service and Office for National Statistics Inter-departmental Business Register (IDBR) have been matched.

This allows information about apprentices to be linked to information about their employers, covering:

  • learner characteristics - age and gender,
  • apprenticeship information - level, standard/framework, subject studied, geography of workplace and whether they were supported by levy funds from an Apprenticeship Service Account (ASA),
  • employer enterprise characteristics - industry sector, size band and legal status.

Headline facts and figures - 2019/20

  • In 2019/20, the number of matched apprenticeship starts fell in every enterprise size band compared to 2018/19. Small enterprises (those with fewer than 50 employees) saw the largest decrease in matched starts of 19%, around 18,600.
  • Since the introduction of the levy in 2016/17, small and medium sized enterprises have seen falls in the number of apprenticeship starts (down by 51% and 54% respectively), whilst large enterprises saw a smaller decrease of 11%.
  • Apprenticeship starts in sectors identified as ‘shutdown’ during the COVID-19 lockdown fell by 70% between 23 March – 31 July 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, starts in other sectors fell by 40%.
  • Since 2018/19, the number of unique enterprises with at least one matched apprenticeship start fell by 16% (about 12,600) to 66,900 in 2019/20. The number of small enterprises with apprenticeship starts has fallen significantly from a peak of around 83,000 in 2015/16, down to 47,600 (a fall of 43%) by 2019/20.
  • Large enterprises with apprenticeship starts are more likely to continue to have starts the following year (74%), than medium (55%) or small enterprises (33%). Industry sectors characterised by large public sector enterprises (such as ‘Public Administration’, ‘Education’ and ‘Human health and social work’) have the highest retention rates.

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