The most popular apprenticeships revealed

A number of other apprenticeship facts have also been unveiled.

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The data shows that health and social work is clearly the most popular sector for apprentices

The Department for Education has just compiled statistics focusing on the five academic years between 2012/13 and 2016/17.

FE Week examined the data and revealed five important facts, new about apprenticeships.

1. Health & social work dominates

The data shows that health and social work is clearly the most popular sector for apprentices, making up 27% of all starts in 2016/17, up from 23% in 2012/13. It was also the most popular for Higher Apprenticeships, making up 43% of all starts at this level in 2016/17.

The manufacturing and construction sectors also saw slight increases in apprenticeship starts over the five years, but the biggest drops were seen in wholesale and retail trade, accommodation and catering and financial services.

2. The fewest people are beginning apprenticeships in the North East

The North East of England had the smallest number (29,770) of apprenticeships in 2016/17, making up just 7% of starts. But interestingly, the North West had the highest proportion: 16% of all apprenticeship starts came from that region.

The youngest apprentices, under 19s, made up over half (54%) of those in the ‘other services’ sector, while 42% of starts in public administration and defence were from apprentices aged between 19 and 24.

 3. Women choose social work; men choose construction

The data also shows that traditional ideas of gender roles are still holding strong among apprenticeships. In 2016/17, 88% of all starts in the construction sector were by men, and construction, manufacturing and wholesale and retail trade between them accounted for 40% of all male apprenticeship starts.

In comparison, 85% of all starts in the health and social work sector were women, which accounted for 43% of all female starts.

4. Differences by age

Heath and social work is more likely to be dominated by older apprentices, with 66% of its starts being from those aged 25 and over in 2016-17.

The youngest apprentices, under 19s, made up over half (54%) of those in the ‘other services’ sector, while 42% of starts in public administration and defence were from apprentices aged between 19 and 24.

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