Thousands of apprentices taking up work in Shropshire, figures show
Almost 4,000 people started on an apprenticeship scheme in Shropshire over a nine month period, according to figures released today.
The Department for Education says apprenticeships are back in fashion as an effective route into work for people who do not want to go on to university.
The county can boast 3,700 people starting apprenticeship schemes in the nine months to April this year, according to the DfE.
And 2,180 people across the whole Shropshire achieved an apprenticeship qualification over the same period.
The figures show the most popular subject areas chosen by apprentices in the Telford & Wrekin area were business, administration and law. The next most in demand subjects were health, public services and care, and engineering and manufacturing technologies.
In Shropshire engineering and manufacturing technologies were the most popular, with the next most in demand being business, administration and law, and health, public services and care.
Apprenticeship and skills minister Anne Milton said she was encouraged by the apprenticeship take-up in Shropshire. She said they could be a "passport into a range of exciting industries", such as nuclear, food science, law, engineering, digital technology, nursing and planning.
The Government says it will be focusing on improving apprenticeships in the 65 most deprived local authorities over the next two years.
Anywhere between one and five years to complete.
An apprentice will typically spend one day a week studying at a college or training organisation, while spending the rest training on the job under the guidance of experienced employees.
While popular wisdom might have you believe that apprenticeships are a route mainly for school leavers, this is not the case in Telford & Wrekin.
Those aged 25 and over made up 39 per cent of all apprenticeships taken up in the nine months to April, while 32 per cent were aged 16 to 18 and 29 per cent were 19 to 24.
In Shropshire those aged 25 and over were the second biggest group making up 32 per cent of all apprenticeships taken up in the nine months to April, with 45 per cent were aged 19 to 24 and 24 per cent were 16 to 18.
The DfE publishes figures on three kinds of apprenticeships – intermediate, advanced, and higher.
In Telford & Wrekin, 540 people began intermediate apprenticeships – the equivalent to GCSEs – last year, while 500 started advanced ones, the equivalent of A levels. The remaining 90 embarked on competitive higher apprenticeships, which are on a par with foundation degrees or above.
In Shropshire, 960 people started the intermediate courses last year, while 1,430 started advanced ones. The remaining 170 began competitive higher apprenticeships.
Across England, around 290,500 workers began new apprenticeships over the nine months to April, and more than 181,600 successfully finished one during the same period.
However, this was 156,400 fewer than during the same nine month period in the 2016-17 academic year.
The falling numbers have been blamed on the introduction of the new Apprenticeship Levy – a tax that some larger employers pay towards a national fund for the training of apprentices – in April 2017.
Critics say the change has caused confusion for employers, and put them off taking on apprentices.