Number of New Apprenticeship Starts in England Returns to Pre-Pandemic Levels


Apprentices are leading the charge in building back stronger from the pandemic. Employers in England have tackled skills shortages and are using the opportunity of workplace training as a recruitment tool as the nation’s economy continues to recover.


130,200 apprenticeships began between August and October last year, compared with 125,800 in 2019. The figures marked a 43 per cent rise, up from 91,100 over the same period in 2020.


The chancellor Rishi Sunak made apprenticeships a key element of the government’s Covid pandemic recovery plan, offering an incentive of up to £2,000 in August 2020 for anyone hiring a trainee that was later increased to £3,000.


The incentive payment is in addition to the £1,000 employers already receive for hiring an apprentice:

  • aged 16 to 18 years old

  • aged 19 to 24 with an education, health and care plan or who has been in the care of their local authority

In September 2021, a new online service launched to make it easier for large employers that pay the Apprenticeship Levy to spend their funds, and for other employers to review and apply for funding.


You can also use the service to help you hire apprentices who have been made redundant.


Many of these apprentices may already have the skills and knowledge you need. Hiring a new apprentice in this way could mean you have a work-ready apprentice who can quickly add value to your business, shortening the time you’ll see a return on your investment.


Overall, Government funding for apprenticeships is set to increase by £170 million to £2.7 billion in 2024-25 so there has never been a better time to start investing in your workforce.


Apprenticeships at System Group


At System Group, the pass rate of our apprentices has been increasing year on year. In 2022, 97% of apprentices passed their EPA first time and around a quarter of learners achieved a distinction grade.


As well as this, 100% of our apprentices secured employment after successfully completing their programme. The success in tackling the HGV skills shortage through Driver Academy programmes has seen some of the country’s biggest employers recruiting internally and externally through apprenticeships. We are currently training and upskilling drivers at Royal Mail, FedEx and Sainsbury’s to create the next generation of logistics workers.


System Group have a wide range of Apprenticeship pathways available, including Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) Driving and a number of Leadership & Management courses. To browse the programmes we currently offer, click here.


Our Apprenticeship specialists are on hand to help your business recruit a dedicated apprentice or upskill your current workforce – if you have any questions, contact us today.

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