To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Public Sector Apprenticeships Target, how many apprentices were employed in his Department in the financial year 2021-22; what proportion of the total workforce in 2021-22 were apprentices; and what his Department's return in respect of the Public Sector Apprenticeships Target was.
The department is currently collating and quality assuring data on apprenticeships for the 2021/22 financial year. Final figures are not yet available. The Cabinet Office, on behalf of the Civil Service, will be publishing a full breakdown of departmental performance on apprenticeships in the autumn in line with previous years. We are not yet able to say what proportion of the workforce were apprentices during the 2020/21 financial year.
Over the four years of the target 2017-2020, the department exceeded the target with 2.6% of the workforce starting an apprenticeship during this period. We have taken steps to increase our apprenticeship starts through advertising the majority of external vacancies at junior grades as apprenticeships since September 2020 and we are therefore on track to exceed the target during the 2021/22 academic year.