UCAS data for the last 12 months shows that while university applications increased by 4%, demand for degree and higher-level apprenticeships has jumped by 25%.
Bidding has opened on a £7m fund set up by the government to help sectors which struggle to meet the minimum 12-month duration for an apprenticeship
Bodies representing the haulage industry have been pressing the case for more apprenticeships as a means of tackling the shortage of drivers.
A new report by MPs on apprenticeships that was published this week has been welcomed by one of the qualification awarding bodies.
The SMC, an independent advisory non-departmental public body, claims that apprenticeships are failing to reach their social mobility potential, and need to be targeted at the most disadvantaged.