The number of young people beginning an apprenticeship has fallen to its lowest level in a decade, according to new figures from the Department for Education. Despite cash incentives to try to boost take-up, apprenticeship starts fell by 18% in the academic year 2019-20, to 319,000.
Many employers, uncertain of the future, have put their apprenticeship schemes on hold because of pandemic. From 23 March to 31 July there were 58,160 apprenticeship starts. This compares with over 100,000 in the same period in 2019. The worst affected group is 16 to 18-year-olds, who make up just 10% of new starts. A year ago the figure was 17%.