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Our reforms to apprenticeships have fundamentally changed what apprenticeships are and the long-term opportunities they provide for people of all ages and backgrounds.
We publish data on apprenticeship starts by demographic on a quarterly basis. The most recent data can be found at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/815288/Apprenticeship-starts-ach-detailed-demographic_201718_Q3-201819_July2019.xlsx.
The table below shows an extract of apprenticeships starts data by the ages requested from the 2016/17 and 2017/18 academic years, as well as data for quarter 1 to 3 of the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic years. Full data for the 2018/19 academic year will be published on 28 November at:
There have been 311,200 apprenticeship starts reported in the first 3 quarters of the 2018/19 academic year, a 7.1% rise compared to the same period in the 2017/18 academic year. In parallel, we continue to see a reduction in the number of level 2 starts during the first 3 quarters of the 2018/19 academic year, down 10% compared to the same point the previous year. We know that 16-18 year olds in particular are more likely to undertake a level 2 apprenticeship and therefore be affected by this reduction.
This change in level 2 starts has largely occurred where apprenticeships were struggling to meet the minimum quality standards required by our reforms. We are replacing old-style frameworks, which apprentices and employers told us were not providing the skills they needed, with new employer-designed standards. Apprenticeships are intended to take people to a point of full competence in their chosen occupation. It is therefore possible for a young person with limited experience to achieve a level 3 apprenticeship. In 2018/19 we have seen growth in level 3 Engineering starts in particular for 16 ,17 and 18 year olds. Overall, we continue to see strong take up of standards with 63% of starts so far in 2018/19 on high-quality standards, compared to 44% in 2017/18.
Levels of young people not in education, training or employment are at a record low and apprenticeships play an important role in getting young people into work. We will continue to monitor the impact of our apprenticeship reforms on 16-18 year olds.