Popularity of apprenticeships strong among public and employers in 2012

Apprenticeships continue to be popular among the public and employers, according to the latest figures from the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS).

In 2012 close to 1,127,000 apprenticeship applications were submitted online for 106,510 advertised vacancies, an evaluation of NAS apprenticeship data shows.

Business and administration were the most popular apprenticeship categories both advertised and applied for in 2012, the study found.

In addition, the study revealed when is the most popular time of year to submit an application for an apprenticeship.

While the biggest number of applications came through in July, with 124,770 applications submitted, August 16 was the most popular day of the year to apply as about 5,730 applications came through on the same day when A-Level results were received.

The largest number of live vacancies was registered on May 25, with a total of 15,480.

"The high number of applications generated in 2012 is further evidence of just how popular apprenticeships have become. The quality training on offer means apprenticeships are fast becoming a first choice career option for a wide range of people," said David Way, chief executive of the National Apprenticeship Service.

"In 2013 we hope to see further growth in the number of new vacancies registered online through our free recruitment service and an increase in the number of apprenticeships available in key industry sectors such as the digital and creative industries, engineering and IT."

With 220,000 applications submitted, London had the most applications out of all the regions.

The West Midlands received the second largest number of applications with 164,240, followed by Greater Manchester at 110,070, the East Midlands with 101,480, and Yorkshire and the Humber with 94,040.

The Thames Valley area received the smallest number of applications with a total of 36,550.

More men applied for apprenticeships than women in 2012 as 56% were submitted by men, while 43% were sent by women.

The sectors of industry to attract the largest number of applications were administration, business and law with 454,737 applications, followed by manufacturing and engineering with 211,294, retail and commercial businesses with 147,850, health, public services and care, which generated 128,124 applications, and information and communication technology with 82,483.

Copyright Press Association 2013