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Includes data by region of domicile, programme type, age group, sector, gender and academic year for August to October 2021.

These quarterly statistics, published on StatsWales with complementary dashboards present information on the number of apprenticeship learning programmes started. It includes data by region of domicile, programme type, age group, sector, gender, ethnicity, disability and academic year.

This update includes new provisional figures for August to October 2021 (Q1). Provisional figures are produced on a quarterly basis and are finalised along with the publication of Q4 data in February/March each year. They are calculated using a freeze of the Lifelong Learning Wales Record (LLWR). Data for earlier years are final.

New work-based learning contract arrangements came into effect on 1 August 2021. This resulted in the transfer of around 4,800 existing apprentices to new providers with new programme records created on the Lifelong Learning Wales Record. New programme records resulting from a transfer are usually included in the statistics on apprenticeship starts with the exception of the target measure. In this case, however, we have excluded the records as so many learners were transferred that the statistics would have presented a misleading picture of apprenticeship starts in 2021/22 quarter 1 had they been left in.

A minor error was identified in the target measure figures for 2020/21. This has been corrected resulting in some small revisions. The final figure reported against the previous 100,000 target has increased by 5 whilst the number of starts in 2020/21 quarter 4 has increased by 85.

From March 2020 onwards, education provision was significantly disrupted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The figures presented in this dashboard are likely to have been impacted. This should be kept in mind, particularly when comparing with previous years.

Main points from the latest data

  • There were 6,810 apprenticeship learning programmes started in 2021/22 Q1, compared with 5,870 starts in 2020/21 Q1. However this is still much lower than pre-pandemic levels as there were 8,615 started in 2019/20 Q1.
  • In 2021/22 Q1, there were increases in Level 2 and Level 3 apprenticeship starts but Level 4+ showed a fall, compared with 2020/21 Q1. Foundation Apprenticeship (Level 2) programmes observed a 55% increase on the previous year. 3,410 learning programmes were started compared with 2,200 in 2020/21 Q1.
  • Apprenticeships (Level 3) saw an 8% increase with 2,600 programmes starting in 2021/22 Q1 compared with 2,405 in 2020/21 Q1.
  • However, Higher Apprenticeships (Level 4+) saw a decrease of 37% compared with 2020/21 Q1, 800 programmes starting in compared with 1,265 the previous year.
  • In 2021/22 Q1, Construction was the most popular broad sector, having shown a 92% increase compared with 2020/21 Q1. There were 1,910 programmes started in 2021/22 compared with 995 the previous year. This was also higher than the same period in 2019/20 when 1,490 programmes were started. 28% of all apprenticeship learning programmes started were in Construction, compared with 17% in 2020/21 Q1. This is the first quarter in which Healthcare and Public Services was not the most popular sector.
  • In 2021/22 Q1, around 61% of all apprenticeship learning programmes started were by male learners, compared with 45% in Q1 in the previous year. Normally there are more females starting apprenticeships, but the shift in the balance in this quarter is due to the relatively large number of starts in Construction and Engineering compared to most other sectors.
  • Having met the target for the previous Senedd term, the Welsh Government now has a new target to create 125,000 all-age apprenticeships over the course of the 2021-2026 Senedd term. This is assessed using a more rigorous measure, which takes account of early drop outs (within first 8 weeks) and transfers between apprenticeship records. In 2021/22 Q1, there were 6,440 of these apprenticeship starts. In total there have been 10,385 of this type of apprenticeship starts since the start of the target in May 2021.
  • The total number of starts against the previous target measure was 112,595 (r) over the period from 2015/16 Q4 to 2020/21 Q3.


Datasets and interactive tools


Ian Shipley

Telephone: 0300 025 9528

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau a gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg / We welcome calls and correspondence in Welsh.


Telephone: 0300 025 8099

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