In the first two quarters of the 2020/21 academic year, there were 161,900 apprenticeship starts (August 2020 to January 2021). This was an 18% reduction over the same period in 2019/20, with about 36,700 fewer starts.

There were 719,000 apprentices in England in 2019/20, with 322,500 apprenticeship starts and 146,900 apprenticeship completions.

The coronavirus pandemic, which began in March 2020, decreased the number of starts in 2019/20. The outbreak and closure had a disproportionately negative impact on people under the age of 19 and those starting intermediate level apprenticeships.

In 2019/20, there were 23,400 fewer people enrolled in apprenticeships than in 2018/19.