Boom in number of apprentice roles

An apprentice working with her mentor in a factory
An apprentice working with her mentor in a factory

THE number of apprenticeship vacancies in Wigan hits a high as the town’s employers back a new generation of workers.

Data released today reveals a 72 per cent increase in apprenticeship vacancies in Wigan posted online on the apprenticeship vacancies website between August and October 2014 compared to the same period the previous year.

A total of 310 vacancies were advertised over the three months versus 180 in 2013/14. This is in addition to many more opportunities offered by employers to young people directly.

An upsurge in firms willing to take on apprentices has been credited with bringing about a dramatic fall in young people not in employment or training.

Nationally, the greatest number of online vacancies overall was for Business, Administration and Law apprenticeships (18,940), whilst Health, Public Services and Care apprenticeships saw the biggest rise in vacancies year-on-year, with an increase of 50 per cent.

There were also noticeable rises in the number of apprenticeship vacancies within the vital STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) fields.

Apprenticeship vacancies advertised online in Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies and Information and Communication Technology both recorded a 23 per cent increase on the same period last year.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “Apprenticeships are at the heart of the Government’s drive to equip people with the skills employers want and need.

“We want it to become the new norm for people to choose between an apprenticeship or University as equally prestigious routes to a great career. That is why it’s so encouraging to see even more excellent apprenticeship opportunities available across the country.”

The data also shows that higher apprenticeships, which offer a way to enter professional careers by gaining valuable work experience whilst achieving a degree-level qualification, are on the rise and have almost doubled in the past year. More than 450 higher apprenticeship vacancies were advertised online in the first three months of the 2014/15 academic year.

The most popular apprenticeships to apply for online were in business, administration and law (166, 280) and retail and commercial Services. (61,590).