At a glance: apprenticeship vacancies in England

This is by no means a rigorous analysis of what has been happening with apprenticeship vacancy postings over the last few weeks but, inspired by @alancareersguru,  I’ve been tracking the number of vacancies for the different apprenticeship levels and sectors to try and gain a little insight into which areas have been most affected and whether any basic trends can be determined. Sure, I could have separated out some of the information a little further but things have been pretty busy of late…

These figures from the Find an Apprenticeship service are for postings at any one time rather than new vacancies. According to the DfE, apprenticeship vacancy postings were down by 85% compared with the months of April and May 2019. Some vacancy postings are for more than one opening and these won’t be reflected in the numbers – for example, one West Midlands police service had 150 police officer opportunities in one posting.

There were just over 230 more intermediate apprenticeship vacancy postings (at any one time) on the 19 August compared to 15 weeks earlier on the 15 May when my tracking started; for advanced apprenticeship vacancies there were just over 200 more.

Apprenticeships intermediate and advanced vacancies chart

Higher apprenticeship postings have shown a gradual increase since May whereas degree apprenticeship opportunities are showing a marked decline, perhaps partly due to seasonal fluctuation. For a much better and more detailed breakdown of higher and degree apprenticeships including regional variations and occupational analysis visit

Apprenticeships higher and degree vacancies chart

Since the beginning of July, vacancies for the construction, ICT, and agriculture, horticulture & animal care sectors have seen a largely upward trend; retail, education and leisure sectors have seen a largely downward trend with the leisure sector registering no vacancies at all for the last three weeks and retail possibly starting to pick up again. It’s all a bit squishy at the bottom of the chart. The low figures for education (one to two opportunities in the last three weeks) may be down to seasonal fluctuation. Surprisingly, the arts sector (although the postings are very small in number) has seen an increase in the last three weeks – this a sector that has probably been the hardest hit by the pandemic in terms of employment – but the numbers are fluctuating at the moment and it’s too early to call it a trend. It will be interesting to see what happens in the autumn months.

Apprenticeships vacancies by sector chart


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