Demand for apprenticeships is high among young people but the numbers of available positions are not enough to go around
Apprenticeships are growing in popularity among both employers and young people, and no, we’re not referring to the titillating ego spectacle headed by Lord Sugar on BBC1.
According to figures released by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), the organisation that funds and co-ordinates apprenticeships around England, there were 37,410 apprenticeship roles posted on its vacancies website between August and October 2013. This represented a notable 24% increase on the same period from the previous year. Yorkshire and The Humber, together with the South East, witnessed the biggest increase in vacancies - a rise of 38% - followed by the East Midlands at 37%.
Surely this should be cause for delight. However, with online applications for apprenticeships soaring 43% to 461,530 in the same quarter, the government is urging employers to create more positions in order to meet the demand. This isn't all that surprising with the figures showing that each online position is attracting an average of 12 applications, meaning there aren’t enough positions for the number of young people seeking a traineeship. The education and training sector attracted an average of 27 applications per vacancy, followed by arts, media and publishing which garnered an average of 26 applications. One thing is clear: with there being an abundance of willing and available candidates, more employers should be taking advantage of this opportunity to expand their business.
The Index went on to reveal that apprenticeships are attracting increasing numbers of applications from female candidates. Online applications from women have increased by more than half since 2012, with 216,100 applications made by females in the three-month period. This has also served to narrow the apparent male bias, with 47% of all applications for apprenticeships coming from females in 2013, compared to 43% the previous year.
Matthew Hancock, the skills and enterprise minister commented: "Demand continues to outstrip supply and I would urge more employers to consider how they can take advantage of this available pool of talent and grow their business through apprenticeships."
Sounds like it's worth a visit to the NAS website.