The number of young people taking up apprenticeships and traineeships is continuing to rise, according to new figures published today.
Provisional figures show that 147,500 people started an apprenticeship between August and October 2014, up from 130,300 in the same period the previous year.
In total, 573,700 people were participating in apprenticeships during those months, including more than 353,000 16- to 24-year-olds.
Although this is slightly down on the total of 595,500 for the same period in 2013-14, the final figure is expected to be higher.
The number of people participating in higher apprenticeships now stands at more than 15,400, up from 11,800 in the same period the previous year.
Also, there were 5,000 traineeship starts in the first quarter of the 2014-15 academic year, compared with 10,000 in the entire first year of the programme.
The government welcomed the figures and said its reforms were making apprenticeships more rigorous and responsive to the needs of employers.
Skills minister Nick Boles added: “We have delivered over 2,140,000 apprenticeships since 2010 and will continue to make sure our young people have every chance to benefit from the life-changing opportunity of an apprenticeship.”
Autumn Statement: FE sector welcomes 'cheaper apprentices' – December 2014
FE loans had 'devastating impact' on learner numbers, figures show – November 2014
Traineeships to be opened up to more young people, says government – November 2014