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Includes data by region of domicile, programme type, age group, sector, gender and academic year for November 2021 to January 2022.

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 November 2021 to January 2022 (Q2). 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. For 2021/22 Q1, however, we excluded the records as so many learners were transferred that the statistics would have presented a misleading picture of apprenticeship starts in that quarter had they been left in.

A minor error was identified in the target measure figures for 2020/21. This was 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 4,195 apprenticeship learning programmes started in 2021/22 Q2, compared with 4,585 starts in 2020/21 Q2.
  • In 2021/22 Q2, there were decreases in Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4+ apprenticeship starts, compared with 2020/21 Q2. Foundation Apprenticeship (Level 2) programmes observed a 6% decrease on the previous year. 1,785 learning programmes were started compared with 1,895 in 2020/21 Q2.
  • Apprenticeships (Level 3) saw a 7% decrease with 1,590 programmes starting in 2021/22 Q2 compared with 1,705 in 2020/21 Q2.
  • Higher Apprenticeships (Level 4+) saw a decrease of 17% compared with 2020/21 Q2, 820 programmes starting compared with 985 the previous year.
  • In 2021/22 Q2, Healthcare and Public Services was the most popular broad sector, but  showing a 11% decrease compared with 2020/21 Q2. There were 1,860 programmes started in 2021/22 Q2 compared with 2,080 in the same quarter of the previous year. 44% of all apprenticeship learning programmes started were in Healthcare and Public Services, compared with 45% in 2020/21 Q2. Healthcare and Public Services was the most popular sector again in 2021/22 Q2, after Construction took the lead in popularity in 2021/22 Q1.
  • In 2021/22 Q2, around 59% of all apprenticeship learning programmes started were by female learners, compared with 61% in Q2 in the previous year. There are now more females starting apprenticeships again, having briefly been in the minority in the previous quarter.
  • 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 Q2, there were 3,810 of these apprenticeship starts. In total there have been 14,825 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 over the period from 2015/16 Q4 to 2020/21 Q3.


Datasets and interactive tools


Ian Shipley

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