Q1 Apprenticeship Starts Stats Confirm Ongoing Fall

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Figures published by the DfE/ESFA have shown a 25% drop in apprenticeship starts in Q1 (August-October 2017) compared with the same quarter the previous year. This gives a much more reliable picture than the Q4 figures as it removes some skewing from the stats across quarters 3 and 4 in 2016/17. This is a cause for concern and shows that the impact of multiple reforms and contracting processes is destabilising the apprenticeship system. The question is whether the Government will start to listen or continue to believe that the drop is a temporary blip as the reforms bed in. We shall see. The Government’s official analysis of the figures can be seen here with FE Week’s take on the statistics Anne Milton’s response is here. AELP’s Mark Dawe has made a statement on the figures here and responses from other sector leaders are here