1. Main facts and figures

  • between 2008/09 and 2017/18, the percentage of apprentices from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups combined increased from 6.7% to 11.1%
  • the number of people from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups who participated in apprenticeships tripled over the same period, from 29,980 to 90,200
  • total apprenticeship participation increased from 444,800 to 814,800
  • in 2017/18, 87.6% of apprentices were White, while people from White ethnic groups made up 84.6% of the general population of England (according to 2017 population estimates from the Office for National Statistics)
Things you need to know

The way data was collected changed in 2011, which means that data from 2002/03 to 2010/11 isn't directly comparable with data from 2011/12 to 2017/18.

Before 2011/12, some apprentices at the same training provider may have been counted more than once in official statistics. This is because some apprentices were funded by more than one source (or funding model) and, at the time, data was collected separately for each funding model.

In 2011/12, a single collection for all funding models was introduced. This means that the total number of apprentices is now counted from a single collection and apprentices at each training provider will no longer be counted twice.

This change means that apprenticeship start numbers are overrepresented by an estimated 1 to 2% for reporting periods from 2008/09 to 2010/11.

What the data measures

This data measures people studying for one or more apprenticeship 'aims'. An apprenticeship 'aim' is an individual learning module taken as part of an apprenticeship.

Each reporting period covers an academic year, which runs from 1 August to 31 July.

A person studying for more than one apprenticeship aim with one training provider will be counted once. Someone who studies with more than one provider in an academic year will be counted separately at each. In that case they will be counted as 2 or more participants.

A training provider is an organisation that offers apprenticeship training.

The data only includes people funded by government.

To give extra context, the percentage of people on apprenticeships by ethnic group has been compared to 2017 population estimates published by the Office for National Statistics.

The ethnic categories used in this data

Data from 2011/12 onwards has been classified using the 5 standardised ethnic groups based on the 2011 Census.

The 5 categories used are:

  • Asian/Asian British
  • Black/African/Caribbean/Black British
  • Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
  • White
  • Other ethnic group

2. By ethnicity over time

Percentage and number of apprentices by ethnicity over time
Asian Black Mixed White Other Unknown
Time % Participants % Participants % Participants % Participants % Participants % Participants
2008/09 3.1 13,720 1.8 7,840 1.4 6,430 92.4 410,960 0.4 1,990 0.9 3,830
2009/10 2.9 14,440 2.0 10,010 1.6 7,890 92.1 452,680 0.5 2,330 0.8 3,920
2010/11 3.7 24,540 2.7 17,950 1.7 11,380 90.5 602,420 0.6 4,140 0.8 5,460
2011/12 3.9 31,640 3.2 25,450 1.8 14,290 89.6 722,760 0.7 5,540 0.8 6,800
2012/13 3.8 32,800 3.3 28,500 1.9 16,200 89.4 776,200 0.7 6,000 1.0 9,000
2013/14 4.0 34,000 3.2 27,400 2.0 17,000 89.1 758,400 0.6 5,500 1.1 9,100
2014/15 4.2 37,000 3.4 29,500 2.1 18,300 88.7 773,400 0.7 5,900 0.9 7,600
2015/16 4.3 38,400 3.5 31,500 2.1 19,100 88.0 791,700 0.7 6,200 1.4 12,500
2016/17 4.3 39,300 3.6 33,000 2.2 19,700 88.2 801,200 0.8 6,900 0.9 8,600
2017/18 4.4 36,200 3.6 29,000 2.3 18,400 87.6 714,000 0.8 6,600 1.3 10,700

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • between 2008/09 and 2017/18, the number of Black apprentices more than tripled, from 7,840 to 29,000
  • the number of apprentices from the Asian, Mixed and Other ethnic groups more than doubled, from 13,720 to 36,200, from 6,430 to 18,400, and from 1,990 to 6,600 respectively
  • the number of White apprentices increased from 410,960 to 714,000
  • in 2017/18, 87.6% of apprentices were White (0.6 percentage points lower than in 2016/17) – the percentage of apprentices from Asian and Mixed ethnic groups slightly increased (both by 0.1 percentage points), while the percentage from Black and Other backgrounds was unchanged

3. By ethnicity compared with the overall population

Percentage of apprentices by ethnicity, compared with the overall population by ethnicity
Ethnicity Apprentices Population (2017 estimate)
% %
Asian 4.4 8.1
Black 3.6 3.6
Mixed 2.3 2.6
White 87.6 84.6
Other 0.8 1.1

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2017/18, 87.6% of apprentices were White, while people from the White ethnic group made up 84.6% of the overall population (according to 2017 population estimates by the Office for National Statistics)
  • 4.4% of apprentices were from the Asian ethnic group, while people from the same group made up 8.1% of the overall population

4. Methodology

This data is based on an apprentice’s individualised learner record, which is submitted by further education providers to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

The individualised learner record uses administrative data collected about apprentices by further education providers. It also includes any data from employers that forms part of the employer ownership pilot.

Data about apprentices’ demographics and the type of learning they're doing is used by ESFA to allocate funding. Ethnicity data is completed by the apprentices, and no adjustments are made by the learning provider.

Suppression rules and disclosure control

Participant numbers have been rounded to the nearest 100 to avoid identification of individuals.

Numbers less than 5 have been suppressed.

Rounding

Participant numbers up to and including 2011/12 are rounded to the nearest 10. From 2012/13, participant numbers are rounded to the nearest 100. Percentages are calculated using unrounded numbers.

Quality and methodology information

Further technical information

All further education providers must send records for apprentices financed by Advanced Learner Loans. Training organisations are asked to send details of apprenticeships that are not funded by the ESFA where they are delivered within the terms of a ESFA contract. For higher and degree level apprenticeships, higher education institutions must send an individual learner record return for all apprenticeship standards and for 16-18 apprenticeship frameworks. Read more about the individual learning record.

5. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Education and Skills Funding Agency

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

Data about learners' demographics and their type of learning (including apprenticeships and apprenticeship aims) is used by Education and Skills Funding Agency to allocate funding for further education.

Secondary source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

Official statistics

Publisher

Office for National Statistics

Publication frequency

Ad-hoc

Purpose of data source

These estimates have been produced specifically for use as part of the Race Disparity Audit, following discussion with the Race Disparity Unit of their specific requirements and time-frame.

6. Download the data

Participation in apprenticeships - Spreadsheet (csv) 10 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, value, numerator and denominator