Apprenticeships are contributing an increasing amount to the economy, according to new official statistics which suggest the number of starts may be gradually increasing.

The first Further Education (FE) Skills Index released by the government showed the value added to the economy from apprenticeships has been increasing year-on-year, rising 10 per cent between 2012/13 and 2016/17.

The data reports a notable spike in 2017/18, following an increase in the number of higher-level and advanced apprenticeships being introduced by businesses after the introduction of the apprenticeship levy.

However, the statistics also show the overall value added by the further education sector – measured by estimating the ‘value added’ for adult learners and apprentices through increased earnings and productivity – has declined over the last six years.

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