New report highlights soaring demand for apprenticeships

Today UCAS, along with the Sutton Trust, is publishing our flagship new report, 'Where next? What influences the choices of would-be apprentices?'.
Posted Thu 6 July 2023 - 10:13

The report comes amid a significant growth in demand for apprenticeships, with 40% of all UCAS undergraduate applicants now interested in an apprenticeship role – about 430,000 potential apprentices – with projections that interest could surge to over half a million by the end of the decade as part of the Journey to a Million

Read the full report (6.82 MB)

UCAS Chief Executive, Clare Marchant, said

“Apprenticeships will play a key role in unlocking the challenge presented by growing demand for higher education over the remainder of the decade. As demand increases, students will need to be fully aware of the full range of post-secondary options – including undergraduate study and apprenticeships – and understand that there are many pathways to that dream career.

"Our new report highlights two main areas of opportunity – increasing the supply of apprenticeships and helping students, particularly those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, access this pathway. 

"Employers and sector bodies can work with UCAS to drive up supply as well as better awareness and accessibility of apprenticeship roles to ensure we don’t miss out on a significant economic opportunity.”

Sir Peter Lampl, Founder and Chairman of the Sutton Trust and Chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation, said

“Higher and degree level apprenticeships enable young people to earn while they learn, come out with no debt, and develop skills that the marketplace wants.

"The big problem with apprenticeships is not the lack of demand by young people but the derisory level of supply which is available.

"The increased supply of apprenticeships has to be the focus of putting apprenticeships on the map so as to unleash their potential for low- and middle-income students.”

Key findings include:

  • Three in five (61%) former applicants did not pursue an apprenticeship because they could not find one in their preferred location.
  • 50% of apprentices told us their experience of applying was positive, compared to 90% of placed university and college applicants.
  • One in three (35%) students previously interested in studying an apprenticeship said they were prevented from doing so due to a lack of roles in their desired career.

Top three resources to support advisers on apprenticeship pathways:

  1. Lesson plan: Thinking about apprenticeships.
  2. Discover apprenticeships on
  3. Parent and guardian guide to apprenticeships.

Additional information and guidance for your students:

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