• Quality of apprenticeships on the rise but overall numbers declining

    Published: February 24 2020

    In response to National Apprenticeship Week which was held in the first week of February, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has been looking at the role of apprenticeships in workforce development.


    Numbers from the Department for Education show that, despite the Government’s attempts, apprenticeships continue to be in decline. Overall, employer investment in training has reduced and while the Government sought to address this with the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in 2017, apprenticeships continue to primarily go to existing employees or older apprentices rather than introducing a pathway to work for young people or those new to a business.

    However, despite an overall reduction in enrolment, CIPD has found a rise in the quality of apprenticeships, with an increase in higher-level apprenticeships which are equivalent to degrees and diplomas.


    CIPD has found that, despite this growth, England continues to be behind the rest of Europe in terms of the number or advanced apprenticeships being taken up. Four in ten of the apprenticeships are intermediate level and narrow standards and regulations mean that apprentices may be struggling to gain the transferable skills they need.

    CIPD has recognised the significant value apprenticeships can bring to businesses, individuals and the economy and with further clarification from the Government they can represent high-quality training and a strong workplace pathway for young people.

    To find out more about CIPD’s findings, have a look at the CIPD CIPD newsletter update or  the CIPD website.

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