Participation in apprenticeships

The main facts and figures show that:

  • between 2008/09 and 2016/17, the percentage of apprentices from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups combined increased from 6.7% to 10.9%

  • the number of people from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups who participated in apprenticeships more than tripled over the same period, from 29,980 to 98,900

  • total apprenticeship participation more than doubled, from 444,800 to 908,700

  • in 2016/17, 88.2% of apprentices were White, while people from White ethnic groups made up 84.8% of the general population of England

Things you need to know

The data was collected using slightly different classifications to those used before 2011. However, the latest data has been matched to the 2011 groupings.. This means data from 2008/09 to 2010/11 is not directly comparable to data collected after that period.

This methodology change also means that the number of people taking apprenticeships is overestimated by 1% to 2% between 2008/09 and 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 provide additional context, the percentage of people on apprenticeships by ethnic group has been compared to 2016 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

Ethnic groups and how data on ethnicity is collected

Number of apprentices by ethnicity over time

Number of apprentices by ethnicity over time

Year All Asian Black Mixed White Other Unknown
Apprentices Apprentices Apprentices Apprentices Apprentices Apprentices Apprentices
2008/09 444,770 13,720 7,840 6,430 410,960 1,990 3,830
2009/10 491,270 14,440 10,010 7,890 452,680 2,330 3,920
2010/11 665,890 24,540 17,950 11,380 602,420 4,140 5,460
2011/12 806,480 31,640 25,450 14,290 722,760 5,540 6,800
2012/13 868,700 32,800 28,500 16,200 776,200 6,000 9,000
2013/14 851,400 34,000 27,400 17,000 758,400 5,500 9,100
2014/15 871,700 37,000 29,500 18,300 773,400 5,900 7,600
2015/16 899,400 38,400 31,500 19,100 791,700 6,200 12,500
2016/17 908,700 39,300 33,000 19,700 801,200 6,900 8,600

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • between 2008/09 and 2016/17, the number of Black apprentices more than quadrupled, from 7,840 to 33,000

  • the number of apprentices from the Asian, Mixed and Other ethnic groups nearly tripled, from 13,720 to 39,300, from 6,430 to 19,700, and from 1,990 to 6,900 respectively

  • the number of White apprentices nearly doubled, from 410,960 to 801,200

Percentage of apprentices by ethnicity over time

Percentage of apprentices by ethnicity over time

Year Asian Black Mixed White Other Unknown
% % % % % %
2008/09 3.1 1.8 1.4 92.4 0.4 0.9
2009/10 2.9 2.0 1.6 92.1 0.5 0.8
2010/11 3.7 2.7 1.7 90.5 0.6 0.8
2011/12 3.9 3.2 1.8 89.6 0.7 0.8
2012/13 3.8 3.3 1.9 89.4 0.7 1.0
2013/14 4.0 3.2 2.0 89.1 0.6 1.1
2014/15 4.2 3.4 2.1 88.7 0.7 0.9
2015/16 4.3 3.5 2.1 88.0 0.7 1.4
2016/17 4.3 3.6 2.2 88.2 0.8 0.9

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • the percentage of apprentices who were White has gradually declined, from 92.4% in 2008/09 to 88.2% in 2016/17 – this is broadly in line with population changes over the same period

  • in the period since 2008/09, the second highest percentage of apprentices were from an Asian background – this reached its highest point in 2015/16 and 2016/17 at 4.3%

Participation in apprenticeships by ethnicity, compared with the overall population by ethnicity

Percentage of apprentices by ethnicity, compared with the overall population by ethnicity

Ethnicity Apprentices Population (2016 estimate)
% %
Asian 4.3 8.0
Black 3.6 3.6
Mixed 2.2 2.6
White 88.2 84.8
Other 0.8 1.1

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2016/17, 88.2% of apprentices were White, while people from the White ethnic group made up 84.8% of the overall population

  • 4.3% of apprentices were from the Asian ethnic group, while people from the same group made up 8.0% of the overall population

Methodology

Methodology

This data is based on an apprentice’s individualised learner record (ILR), which is submitted by further education (FE) providers to the ESFA. The ILR uses administrative data collected about apprentices by FE providers.

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.

Data on apprentices that forms part of the Employer Ownership Pilot (EOP) is gathered from employers in the same format as the ILR and included in the ILR dataset.

Suppression rules and disclosure control

Participant numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10 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.

Quality and methodology information

Further technical information

All 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 ILR return for all apprenticeship standards and for 16-18 apprenticeship frameworks. Read more about the individual learning record (ILR).

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.