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ONS: Record numbers of people starting apprenticeships
A record 234,000 people started apprenticeships in the 2008/09 academic year, according to provisional data on vocational qualifications released by the Office for National Statistics.
The statistics also showed 126,900 people completed apprenticeships during the same period, representing the highest number of starts and completions ever in an academic year.
The statistical first release, published last week, covers the number of people aged 16 and over who aren't in school or university in England and who have taken a course funded by the Learning and Skills Council.
Provisional figures show that in the academic year 2008/09:
Overall, provisional data shows that there were 4,754,700 learners taking Further Education courses funded by the Learning and Skills Council in the 2008/09 academic year.
Skills Minister Kevin Brennan, said: "It's great news that the number of people starting and completing an apprenticeship is at the highest ever, and that over a million people have taken a course to improve their literacy and numeracy skills this year. Behind these figures are real people with brighter futures, greater self-confidence and better career prospects ahead.
"We need to keep on helping people access the training and skills they need to get work and to get on at work, and to be able to seize the opportunities that growth will bring. We are expanding apprenticeships, making it easier for employers to offer them, so that more young people can benefit. We also need to make sure adults can reskill and upskill so that they are in the best possible position to get the jobs of the future. Our National Skills Strategy, to be published later this autumn, will take this work forward."
Other provisional findings from the SFR include:
Train to Gain is the government's service that aims to help employers improve the skills of their employees and the productivity of their business. Subject to eligibility, Train to Gain funds skills for life and first full level 2 qualifications.
The report, 'Post 16 Education and Skills: Learner Participation, Outcomes and Level of Highest Qualification'. held can be found at: www.thedataservice.org.uk/statistics
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