LSC Staging

Over One Million Apprenticeship Applications Generated online in 2012

Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New data released today by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), highlights the continued popularity of Apprenticeships among both employers and the public. Analysis of NAS Apprenticeship vacancies figures (1) (2) shows there were almost 1,127,000 Apprenticeship applications submitted, and 106,510 vacancies advertised, online during 2012.

The research also reveals the Top 10 most popular Apprenticeship types applied for and vacancies advertised (3) in 2012, with Business and Administration topping both charts.

Top 10 Apprenticeships applications

1. Business and Administration (311,190 applications made) (4)
2. Children & Young People’s Workforce (Childcare) (76,410)
3. Customer Services (72,220)
4. Vehicle Maintenance & Repair (71,370)
5. IT, Software, Web & Telecoms Professional (66,650)
6. Manufacture (Craft and Technician) (41,870)
7. Hospitality and Catering (40,186)
8. Health and Social Care (31,570)
9. Retail (31,140)
10. Hairdressing (30,840)

Top 10 Apprenticeship vacancies

1. Business and Administration (26,480 vacancies posted online)
2. Customer Service (10,460)
3. Hospitality and Catering (8,650)
4. Children and Young People’s Workforce (Child care) (5,490)
5. IT, Software, Web & Telecoms Professional (5,040)
6. Health and Social Care (4,410)
7. Manufacture (Craft and Technician) (3,540)
8. Hairdressing (3,360)
9. Retail (3,300)
10. Construction Building (2,920)

Furthermore, the analysis provides insight into the most popular dates to apply for an Apprenticeship. Indeed, although July generated the most applications (124,770), 16 August (A-Level results day) was the most popular day to apply, with nearly 5,730 applications submitted. On 25 May 2012, the highest number of live vacancies was recorded (15,480).

David Way, chief executive of The National Apprenticeship Service, says of the findings; “The high number of applications generated in 2012 is further evidence of just how popular Apprenticeships have become. The quality training on offer means Apprenticeships are fast becoming a first choice career option for a wide range of people.

“In 2013 we hope to see further growth in the number of new vacancies registered online through our free recruitment service and an increase in the number of Apprenticeships available in key industry sectors such as the Digital and Creative Industries, Engineering and IT.

“We would like to help even more employers use Higher, Advanced and Intermediate Apprenticeships to recruit new staff and are encouraging them to find out more about the funding available.”

Other key findings include:


  • London had more applications than any other region, with 220,000 applications made. This was followed by the West Midlands (164,240), Greater Manchester (110,070), the East Midlands (101,480) and Yorkshire and the Humber (94,040). The lowest number of applications was recorded in the Thames Valley region (36,550).
  • Although there was a pretty even split between genders. More males than females applied for Apprenticeships in 2012 – 56% versus 43%.
  • The industry sectors that generated the most applications were Business, Administration and Law (454,737), Engineering & Manufacturing Technologies (211,294), Retail and Commercial Enterprise (147,850), Health, Public Services and Care (128,124) and Information and Communication Technology (82,483).



  • During the year, London employers posted the most Apprenticeship vacancies online (13,810). This was followed by the West Midlands (12,520), Greater Manchester (12,210), the Central Eastern region (9610) and Yorkshire and the Humber (9,290). The South West and Thames Valley posted the lowest number of vacancies online - 6,090 5,680 respectively.
  • Most of the vacancies advertised online were for Intermediate Level Apprenticeships. These accounted for 86% of all vacancies in 2012.
  • The industry sectors that generated the most vacancies were Business, Administration and Law (42,600), Retail and Commercial Enterprise (19,780), Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies (15,000), Health, Public Services and Care (11,770) and Information and Communication Technology (6,060).

Government funding to help businesses take on an apprentice was made available in February 2012. Through the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE) of 16-24 year olds, businesses who choose to grow their business through Apprenticeships can access funding of £1,500. The grant is open to organisations employing up to 1,000 people, who have never employed an apprentice before, or have not recruited one in the past 12 months.

- Ends-

1. Data taken from the National Apprenticeship Service Apprenticeship Vacancies database showing all applications submitted online and vacancies advertised online during 2012. Data covers the period 1 January 2012 – 30 November 2012.

2. Vacancies advertised online on the National Apprentice Service Apprenticeship Vacancies database account for around 80% of all Apprenticeship vacancies available to the public to apply for. The data contained in this press release should not be seen as a substitute for formal Statistical First Releases. In addition to vacancies advertised to the public, many employers will commit to putting their existing staff through an Apprenticeship where they move in to a new role as part of their career development and training.

3. Apprenticeship type applied for or advertised refers to those listed under the official Apprenticeship Frameworks and standards

4. There were also a few applications made under frameworks from the earlier part of the year, that were pre-Specification for Apprenticeship Standards in England (SASE) blueprint frameworks. This includes an additional 462 applications made under the ‘Business Administration’ framework.

National Apprenticeship Service

The National Apprenticeship Service focuses on increasing the number of apprentices in England. We work with employers to help them introduce apprentices into their businesses, help those looking to start their careers find an Apprenticeship opportunity and contribute towards the costs of the training and qualifications within an Apprenticeship. We engage with a wide range of partners to help design the frameworks for apprentices and we implement all Government policies aimed at setting the high standard of quality Apprenticeships.

We promote excellence in Apprenticeships and vocational training with awards, campaigns and skills competitions including National Apprenticeship Week and WorldSkills UK.




National Apprenticeship Service


The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) has end to end responsibility for Apprenticeships in England. The NAS has been designed to increase the number of Apprenticeship opportunities and provide a dedicated, responsive service for both employers and learners.

Recommended Authors