By Robert Clear, Researcher in the City of London Research Team
In April this year the Government plans to introduce reforms to apprenticeship funding, with the intention of raising investment in apprenticeships to £2.5bn by 2020 – double the level of 2010 (more on the reforms here). Below we take a quick look at the state of apprenticeships in London using the latest information available from the Department for Education.
The number of apprenticeship starts in the capital has been growing moderately since 2013/14. 12,460 apprentices started their programmes in the period between August and October 2016 (the latest period in the data set) and 46,280 in the capital in the full year 2015/16 – a slight increase of 730 on the previous year. This is still down, however, from the high of 47,230 in 2011/12.
Apprenticeship starts – London 2005/6 – 2015/16
By 2015/16 Inner London’s level of apprenticeship starts had been stable for two years, having risen to 15,830 from a six year low in 2013/14. Outer London has long had a higher volume of apprenticeship starts than Inner London, and in 2015/16 this had reached 30,450. As the chart below shows, between 2005/6 and 2009/10 they grew at roughly the same rate, but since 2010/11 the difference has been pronounced, with Outer London holding the lion’s share. Despite a precipitous dip of around 15% in apprenticeship starts during the two years of decline between 2011/12 and 2013/14, Outer London recovered more strongly than Inner London.
Apprenticeship starts – Inner and Outer London 2005/6 – 2015/16
The chance to earn a wage while developing skills and work experience will continue to have wide appeal, especially among those who view more traditional routes to careers as inaccessible or unappealing. The challenge for the Government and employers will be to increase the number of apprenticeship places available and to ensure that these not only reflect the business needs of the companies that offer them, but the social and financial needs of London’s diverse population.