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Record participation levels for apprenticeships

Participation in apprenticeships is at a record level, and the number of apprenticeship starts in England has increased after three years of declines.

There were nearly 872,000 funded apprentices in England in the 2014/15 academic year, according to official figures.

In the same year, almost 500,000 people started an apprenticeship, around 60,000 more than the previous year, or a rise of 14 per cent. It was the first year since 2011/12 that apprenticeship numbers went up, the official source said.

The increase was even more significant for higher apprenticeships, with 19,800 starts, a jump of 115 per cent on the year before.

Apprenticeships are available in 1,500 job roles, covering more than 170 industries, and more than 1,300 employers are involved in designing new apprenticeships standards.

Making the most of young people

At the start of this year's National Apprenticeship Week, the Government celebrated the figures and said it would be doubling in cash terms the annual level of spending on apprenticeships between 2010 to 2011 and 2019 to 2020 to £2.5 billion.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said, 'We want to give all young people a chance to make the most of their talents and create a better life for themselves. That's exactly why we are committed to creating 3 million apprenticeships by 2020.'

Apprenticeships are at the heart of the drive to equip people with the skills that employers need to grow and compete in today's global marketplace, the Government said.

Every £1 of Government investment in apprenticeships delivers £28 of benefit to the economy, according to official figures.

Acas publications and services

Acas has published an pdf icon Employing younger workers [378kb] guide, which aims to help employers manage and support apprentices and younger workers.

The pdf icon Recruiting staff guide [326kb] has all you need to know about recruitment, selection and implementation of induction programmes.

Acas experts can visit your organisation and review your existing recruitment and induction procedures. See Recruitment and Retention: how Acas can help for more details.

Acas also offers practical training on Recruitment and induction, based on its own guidance, taking you through the legal and best practice elements of fair and effective recruitment.

For free, impartial advice and guidance visit Acas Helpline Online.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects area for more information.

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