Sharp fall in Apprenticeship take-up sparks debate over Levy

Industry and education clash over the impact of the Apprenticeship Levy after the latest figures show yet further decline in the number of new apprentices

Figures showing a sharp decline in the number of Apprenticeship starts have sparked a clash between education and industry over the impact of the Apprenticeship Levy.

The latest government figures show that there have been 111,400 Apprenticeship starts for the first quarter of the 2017/18 academic year. However, this figure is down by 26.5 per cent on the previous year when 155,600 starts were recorded.

It continues a worrying trend after there was a 59.3 per cent drop year-on-year during the fourth quarter of the 2016/17 academic year.

Broken down, the first quarter figures for 2017/18 also show a 20 per cent fall in the number of under-19s starting Apprenticeships – from 58,300 to 46,600.

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