Apprenticeships on rise post-pandemic

Article summary: Apprenticeship uptake figures are bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels, according to new Department for Education (DfE) statistics.

The publication coincides with another report that found one in three university students has changed their career plans because of Covid.

Responding to these new reports, PETA’s CEO Huw Chapman said employers are now ideally placed to bring certainty back to the jobs market by launching apprenticeship schemes.

Recent DfE data* shows 130,200 people (43% increase) started apprenticeships between August and October 2021, compared to 91,000 during the same period in 2020. 

Higher apprenticeships - offering degree level or higher education - accounted for 38,200 (29.4 per cent) of those new starts and under-19s accounted for 40,100 (30.8 per cent) of all new starts. Interestingly, 76,300 of these (58.6 per cent) were supported by Apprenticeship Service Account (ASA) levy funding from the government.

The publication of this DfE data coincides with a report by research company Dig-In† that found, of 3,000 students surveyed, one in three (35%) students said the pandemic has changed or influenced their career plans due to Covid. 

Over 30% of students have now opted to stay in education, moving on to Masters’ degrees or PhDs, instead of joining the workforce.

PETA’s Huw Chapman said: “While young people respond to an uncertain job market, and a certain amount of confusion over whether to stay in education or get a job, many employers will find this is the right time to invest in launching an apprenticeship programme.

“At PETA we deliver first class apprenticeship schemes for hundreds of employers, and more than a third of those were able to claim at least one government incentive to support their plans.

“Many of our customers tell us that launching an apprenticeship in their business has allowed them to recruit bright young people who are keen and able to learn on the job while earning good pay. 

“There is a sense that they are investing in their company’s future and that young people bring new insights and enthusiasm that enriches their business operation.”

* Source: Department for Education, Apprenticeships and traineeships 2021/22,, January 27, 2022
† Source: Careerpass Network/Dig In, How has the pandemic impacted student choices?,, January 26, 2022

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