General apprenticeship figures rise while construction and trade decline

Direct Line for Business Recent figures from Direct Line for Business have revealed a decreasing popularity of construction and trade apprenticeships.

The analysis shows that construction and trade apprenticeships made up just 7% of all apprenticeships last year, down from a high of 12% in 2006.

These figures were published alongside other types of apprenticeships that have shown an increase in popularity, marking a 57% increase in the number of total apprenticeships in the last five years, to 434,630 during 2013/14.

Ranked in order of the total number of apprenticeships created throughout 2013/14, only two construction and trade focused apprenticeships ranked in the top ten (construction skills at ninth and industrial applications at tenth).

This is vastly different to 2006/07 when construction skills apprenticeships topped the table, with more than 20,000 apprenticeships undertaken in this field.

Additional analysis suggests that the number of National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs), Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs), Vocationally Related Qualifications (VRQs) and Qualification and Credit Framework Qualifications (QCFs) awarded between 2013 and 2014 fell by 14% from 5,443,000 to 4,684,000.

The number of NVQs/SVQs achieved in the UK has decreased sharply over the last four years from one million in 2009/10 to 44,000 in 2013/14. In line with NVQs/SVQs, the number of VRQs achieved in the UK also decreased from two million in 2009/10 to 190,000 in 2013/14. Additionally, qualifications in construction, planning and the built environment made up only 5% of all qualifications in 2013/14 (232,200 out of 4,684,000).

Nick Breton, head of Direct Line for Business said: “Apprenticeships are important for budding builders, plumbers and electricians to get into the workplace. With fewer people in apprenticeships there is a risk of creating a skills gap that will affect businesses and consumers alike.

“The introduction of the new £3 billion apprenticeship levy in the Government’s Autumn Statement and the promise of three million new apprenticeships across the UK is a positive move, which we hope will make it easier for SMEs to ensure that they have access to skilled young workers.”

Have you or are you taking on an apprentice? Let us know how the process has been for you and your business by emailing lsmall@unity-media.com. Speak to CITB at the RCI Show, which takes place at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on 27 & 28 January 2016.