Our 7 key insights from the government’s apprenticeships survey of employers

May 16 2016  —  by Charlotte Domanski, Knowledge and Research Manager, Talent & Skills, Business in the Community

Last week the government released an evaluation of apprenticeships following a survey of 4,000 employers in 2014. Here’s our key insights from the release:

  1. The majority of apprentices followed one of only three types of framework. These were Business (34%), Health (23%) and Retail (22%).  Around a quarter of all employers hiring apprentices were in the Health and Social Care sector. 90% of employers overall only employed apprentices on one framework.

  2. Apprenticeship training is mainly being delivered through external training providers. 94% of employers worked with an external training provider to deliver some or all of their apprenticeship training, and 73% of employers offered some formal training to their apprentices as well. 86% of employers were satisfied with the quality of the training their apprentices had received.

  3. ...and employers aren’t yet clued up on all of the changes that are taking place. Only 24% of employers had heard of the new standards, and 12% knew what they involved. While 64% of employers had heard of traineeships, only 43% knew what they involved. Worryingly only 1 in 5 employers used the National Apprenticeship Service’s ‘Find an apprenticeship’ website. Read more about the apprenticeship levy changes.

  4. Retention rates for apprenticeships are pretty much similar to the previous year. Around 65% of people who had completed an apprenticeship at least 12 months earlier were still employed by the same company. Engineering companies had the highest post-apprenticeship retention rate.

  5. … But there is still a lack of higher level apprenticeships and progression. 26% of employers offered Higher apprenticeships, and 13% offered Degree apprenticeships. However, only 13% employed apprentices who had progressed from one apprenticeship into a higher level apprenticeship at the company. See how you can grow your future talent.

  6. Employers offering new apprenticeships are mostly offering them to young people. 74% of employers offered apprenticeships to young people aged 16 – 19, and 80% to young people aged 19 – 24. However, employers offering apprenticeships to existing employees were much more likely to provide them to employees aged over 25 (70% compared to 34% of employers recruiting externally).

  7. …But employers are now more likely to recruit apprentices due to business need than any other reason, including financial and social responsibility motives (31%, up from 25% in 2014). Despite this, 45% of employers with 100 or more staff only had one apprentice who had recently completed their training.


Charlotte Domanski

Charlotte Domanski, Knowledge and Research Manager, Talent & Skills, Business in the Community