UK Apprenticeships Decline 50 Per Cent During Pandemic

Business products and services comparison website Small Business Prices has released data from a study that looked at the best industries for apprentices in 2020/21.

The study analysed the number of apprenticeship starts and completions for different courses, the top-rated companies for apprenticeships, as well as the best and worst salaries in each industry. It also looked at the impact of COVID-19 has had on apprenticeships, and how industries have been affected.

With universities becoming increasingly expensive to attend, and the current climate making the job market very competitive, prospective students may consider looking at other career paths, including apprenticeships.

But with so many options on offer, it can be difficult to choose which industry is the most suitable and offers the best prospects.

According to the survey, Health and Social Care is at the top of the list of the best industries, with engineering, administration, accounting and finance, and business management respectively making up the top five.

At the other end of the table, Animal Care and Veterinary Science, Media and Communications, and Marketing don’t rank well, due to low salaries, as well as having notably fewer apprenticeship starts and completions.

The study evaluated the average salaries prospective apprentices can expect in each industry, revealing both the best and the worst paying.

When considering salary only, Direct Learning Support and teaching apprenticeships perform well, with an average salary between £24,000-£27,000. But while animal and veterinary science may offer the worst salary for apprentices, a fully qualified vet can potentially earn between £40,000 to £70,000.

The effect of Covid-19 on apprenticeships 

The effect of the recent restrictions, and uncertainty over future lockdowns, job security is a major concern, especially for apprentices who were affected by the first wave of the coronavirus.

In total, the number of apprenticeship starts (39,761) between March and May 2020 decreased by 50 per cent, compared to the same period in 2019. Health and Social Care was hit particularly hard, with 7,487 fewer starts in 2020 than in 2019, a 50 per cent drop.

As for other industries, Administration apprenticeship starts fell 61 per cent, Business Management 39 per cent, and Child Development 57 per cent, showing all have felt the effects of the pandemic.

Small Business Prices’ study also identified the best employers for apprenticeships in the UK. RateMyApprenticeship analysed feedback from over 4,000 apprentices in 2018 to determine the best companies for apprenticeships. These include:

  • MOTUS Commercials – Business
  • BAE Systems – Engineering/ Manufacturing
  • Mitchells & Butlers – Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism
  • M&G – Insurance, Asset and Investment Management
  • BT – IT & Consultancy

Ian Wright, Founder of Small Business Prices explained that not only are universities expensive, but the ‘traditional’ university experience has shifted significantly due to COVID-19, leading students to choose different career paths. The study is aimed to help students make informed decisions.

“It’s also important to consider the drastic impact of the pandemic, as apprenticeship starts have decreased by 50 per cent compared to last year. PM Boris Johnson has already stressed the importance of apprenticeships, with his pledge to offer an ‘opportunity guarantee’, promising young people opportunities for work,” he added.

If you’re looking for an apprenticeship training company, talk to our team today.