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UK – Apprenticeships predicted to grow 59% this year

08 June 2017

Apprenticeship programmes in the UK are expected to grow by 59% this year according to survey data from the Association of Graduate Recruiters.

AGR’s apprenticeships survey also shows that 83% of student employers have apprenticeship programmes this year and they expect to hire at least 12,281 apprentices. This is an increase of 4,581 apprentices compared to 2016.

“Demand for apprentices is rising fast, particularly in light of the apprenticeship Levy,” Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive at the AGR said. “Employers, universities and schools are going to need to collaborate to make sure students understand all of the opportunities open to them.”

Meanwhile, intermediate level apprenticeships make up the largest share of programmes by volume (4,492) followed by advanced apprenticeships (3,967) and higher apprenticeships (3,320). Intermediate apprenticeships are also expected to increase at the fastest rate this year (287%)2 – check figures?

The largest volumes of apprenticeships are in IT/telecoms and banking, while the highest growth rates are in IT/telecoms and retail.

All of the employers taking part in the survey are paying the Apprenticeship Levy. On average, they expect to use 33% of Levy funds to recruit new apprentices this year. Half of the respondents are starting programmes as a result of the Levy with some using the funds to up-skill existing staff instead.

More than half, or 58%, of employers said that managing their organisational response to the Levy is one of their biggest challenges this year. A further 23% said that a lack of government-approved apprenticeship standards in their sector is one of their top issues.

 In 2016, intermediate level apprenticeships were used by the highest share of student employers and paid a median starting salary of £14,000. Salaries for graduate programmes are typically £27,500, which is more than one and a half times the median starting salary for the highest level of apprenticeship (£16,000).

The apprenticeship levy came into effect earlier this year with the government stating that the levy will fund 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020. Companies in the UK are set to spend £3 billion a year to contribute to the funding.

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