On September 17th, it was announced that there were 338,500 apprenticeship starts from May 2017 until the end of April 2018.
This is significantly higher than the figure reported back in January, which claimed only 67,000 people had started their apprenticeships after the introduction of the levy in April 2017.
According to the latest statistics, the apprenticeship standards accounted for over 40% of the starts reported in the first three quarters of the 2017/18 academic year, which is an increase on the same period last year (2.5%)
However, the number of Levy funded starts is also decreasing.
For all apprenticeship levels, the number of Levy funded starts dropped in June 2018 to 10,500 from 12,500 the previous month (May 2018), and only 48% of the apprenticeship starts have been Levy funded since August 2017.
A Decrease in Level 2 Starts
Nadhim Zahawi, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education, said:
"These new standards are driven by employers to provide high-quality training, which will lead to increased productivity at every level and equip apprentices with the skills they need to progress in their careers."
During the first three quarters of 2017/18, there has been a significant decline in starts for Level 2 apprenticeships.
However, Zahawi doesn't think this is bad news.
"We have seen the numbers of starts at higher levels (4 and above) rise by nearly 13 percent. This shows a healthier balance across apprenticeships at all levels, helping people progress to higher skills."
Nursing Apprenticeships were also mentioned, after a question from Caroline Lucas (Co-Leader of the Green Party) who asked what was being done about the decline in the number of student nursing applications from 2016.
Stephen Barclay, Minister of State, replied:
"We have opened new work-based learning routes into the nursing profession for those who may not be able to study full-time. The new Nursing Associate role and the Nurse Degree Apprenticeship will open routes into the registered nursing profession for thousands of people from all backgrounds and allow employers to grow their own workforce."