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Includes data by region of domicile, programme type, age group, sector, gender and academic year for May to July 2020.

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

Provisional figures are produced on a quarterly basis and are finalised along with the publication of Q4 data in February/March each year. 2019/20 (academic year) Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 data are now final. They are calculated using a freeze of the Lifelong Learning Wales Record (LLWR). Data for earlier years are also final.

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.

Additionally, the number of apprenticeship starts in 2019/20 quarter 4 is inflated by the transfer of learners from consortium members that were previously part of the Vocational Skills Partnership to new lead providers. Caution should be taken when considering 2019/20 figures for quarters 3 and 4 alongside figures for previous quarters. Around 795 new starts recorded in 2019/20 quarter 4 were as a result of these transfers, with a further 865 in 2019/20 quarter 3. This group includes a higher proportion of starts in the following categories:

  • higher apprenticeships
  • females
  • the ‘healthcare and public services’ sector
  • learners aged 25 and over
  • learners who are not disabled

These starts are not included in the apprenticeship target measure as it accounts for transfers and early drop outs (within the first 8 weeks).

Main points from the latest data

  • There were 3,465 apprenticeship learning programmes started in 2019/20 Q4 compared with 6,360 in 2018/19 Q4, a decrease of 46%. This decrease is likely to be driven, at least partly, by the disruption to learning caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, as mentioned.
  • In 2019/20 Q4, Healthcare and Public Services was the most popular broad sector. 58% of all apprenticeship learning programmes started were in this sector, compared with 47% in Q4 the previous year. 
  • In 2019/20 Q4, around 73% of all apprenticeship learning programmes started were by female learners, compared with 68% in Q4 in the previous year.
  • The Welsh Government has a target for 100,000 apprenticeships over the course of this Senedd term (2016-2021). This is assessed using a more rigorous measure which takes account of early drop outs (within first 8 weeks) and transfers between apprenticeship records. Under this measure, 2,405 apprenticeship learning programmes were started in 2019/20 Q4 and 98,275 since the target was introduced.
  • Management information derived from the LLWR indicates that, as of 22 October 2020, there has been in excess of 100,000 apprenticeship learning programmes started according to the target measure. It should be noted that this management information has not undergone validation or further data quality checks, which are undertaken for the official statistics published in this release.

This release will continue to be updated to reflect progress towards the target according to the pre-announced timetable. It is expected that the 2020/21 quarter 1 release will reflect the target being reached. This is provisionally scheduled for publication in May 2021.


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

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau yn Gymraeg / We welcome calls in Welsh.