Statistical First Release: Apprenticeship Starts Aug-Oct 2017 (Qtr 1)

GMLPF has undertaken some initial analysis of the SFR Apprenticeship Starts data published on the 25th January 2018. It has not been possible yet to compare and contrast starts data for the period August to October 2017 with the corresponding period for 2016 for the Liverpool City Region.  However, it is clear that Apprenticeship starts are low relative to previous years.

Further analysis will be undertaken, for example timeframe comparisons and sectoral analysis, when data becomes available.

Several key messages emerge:

  • Nationally, Apprenticeship starts are significantly down year on year, continuing the trend identified in the previous quarter.
  • On current levels of starts it is highly unlikely that the Liverpool City Region will match the number of starts achieved in 2016/17. To achieve that level, some 15,180 individuals would need to start an Apprenticeship over the next three quarters. This equates to some 5,060 individuals each quarter or a 50% increase on current levels.
National Picture

The Government’s manifesto 3m Apprenticeship starts target would appear to be highly ambitious given the recent publication of starts data. Total Apprenticeship starts have fallen by 41% over the period May-October 2017 when compared to the corresponding period in 2016. This analysis continues to highlight the impact of Apprenticeship reforms.

LCR Picture

The table below illustrates the total number of (All Age) Apprenticeship starts by Local Authority area over the last 6 full delivery years.

Full Year (Provisional)
St Helens285023302080226023902280
LCR23,770 21,010 16,530 17,890 18,320 18,580
North West893108418071670793108082079170


The table reveals that Apprenticeship starts were relatively stable over the period 2014/15 to 2016/17 with circa 18,000 Starts per annum.

An analysis of the Statistical First Release data for Apprenticeship starts (August-October) by Local Authority area and by age group and level of Apprenticeship reveals the following:

Statistical First Release Jan 18: Apprenticeship Starts by Age Aug-Oct 2017
Local Authority Area16-1819-2425+Total
Halton 1108090280
Knowsley 150100140390
Liverpool 290220360870
St Helens 190120130440
Sefton 230190190610
Wirral 300240280810
LCR Total 127095011903400
% 37.4%27.9%35.0%100%
Statistical First Release Jan 18: Apprenticeship Starts by Level Aug-Oct 2017
Local Authority AreaIntermediateAdvancedHigherTotal
Halton 11014030280
Knowsley 19016040390
Liverpool 400370100870
St Helens 18021050440
Sefton 27026070610
Wirral 340370100810
LCR Total 149015103903400
% 43.8%44.4%11.5%100%


What is apparent from the above tables is that:

  • Total starts in Quarter 1 (3400) equates to 18.3% of the total number of starts in the 2016/17 year. Given historical recruitment patterns (where recruitment of apprentices, in particular 16-18 is higher, in Quarter 1) this figures appears to be low and would require significant volumes of new starts for the City Region to achieve the level of starts in the previous year.
  • It would appear that, in contrast to the previous year, the number of 25 years olds and over has decreased significantly. In 2016/17, 47% of those starting an Apprenticeship were aged 25 and over in contrast to 35% currently. Starts by those aged 16-18 appear to have increased.
  • The profile of Apprenticeship starts by Level appears to confirm an emerging trend whereby the number of starts at Intermediate level are decreasing and there is an increasing shift towards advanced and higher level

At A Glance: Government Statistical First Release 14th October

Provisional data for the full 2014/15 academic year shows:
(NB 2013/14 figures shown in brackets for comparison)

  • 872,300 (851,500) learners participated on an Apprenticeship
  • 492,700 (440,400) Apprenticeship starts. Of these there were 294,400 at intermediate level; 179,000 at advanced level and 19,300 at higher level. 124,400 Apprentices were aged under 19 and 368,300 aged 19 and over
  • 17,720 (16,530) Apprenticeship starts in Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens, Halton and Wirral
  • 245,300 Apprenticeship frameworks achieved. Of these there were 151,300 at intermediate level; 90,000 at advanced level and 4,000 at higher level.
  • 25.1% (27.1%) of Apprenticeship starts were aged under 19; 32.1% (36.1%) were aged 19 to 24; and 42.7% (36.7%) were aged 25+
  • 161,800 starts for which a payment was made through the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE 16 to 24) scheme between February 2012 and July 2015.
  • 53.1% (52.9%) Apprenticeship starts were female; 46.9% (47.1%) were male
  • 8.7% (8.7%) Apprenticeship starts had a learning difficulty/disability
  • 10.6% (10.2%) Apprenticeship starts were of a Black or Minority Ethnic background (including Mixed, Asian, Black and Other Ethnic Group learners)
  • 400 starts on Apprenticeships standards (previously known as Trailblazers)
  • 41,840 (40,080) workplaces in the North West employ apprentices
  • 19,200 (10,400) Traineeship starts, of which 11,600 (7000) were aged under 19 and 7,600 (3400) were aged 19 to 24
  • 73,300 (59,100) learners with a 24+ Advanced Learning Loan of which 68,800 (56,400) were participating at Level 3 and 4,600 (2700) at Level 4+.

Further details:

Statistical data sets – FE data library