Young people who want to boost their chances of securing a valuable apprenticeship should ‘Go West’ and avoid London, a new report into the postcode lottery for training jobs reveals.
Candidates in the South West and North West of England have the highest likelihood of securing an apprenticeship place – and are twice as likely to succeed in getting one as those in worst-performing London, it concludes.
In the South West fewer than two people are chasing every post, while in London there are four people chasing every vacancy.
Beat the crowd: Opportunities for apprenticeships are easier to come by in the South West
Although the capital has the highest overall number of people chasing an apprenticeship place, it has the second lowest number of places on offer – meaning demand severely outstrips supply.
The postcode lottery for apprenticeships is revealed in a new study by the jobs website iwantobea.com, which analysed the latest official figures for the number of workplace apprenticeships advertised in each region, and then compared that with the number of candidates chasing them.
To coincide with National Apprenticeship it has created a new Apprentice Index, comparing region-by-region the number of vacancies to the number of potential candidates – to produce an opportunity rating, so that young people can see at a glance where they have the best chance of success.
Its authors say youngsters who want to boost their chances should consider travelling to regions where their odds of getting a place are higher – noting that this could even be a short hop to a neighbouring region.
Prospects: The second best opportunity rate is in the North West of England
Vacancies: Opportunity rates for apprenticeships by region, according to iwantobea.com
The index compares the ratio of 16 to 24-year-olds dubbed NEETs – Not In Education, Employment or Training – to the number of workplaces employing apprentices in the last quarter by region, according to statistics provided by the Department for Education and the Skills Funding Agency respectively.
Overall across England, over the last three months of 2017 there were 261,400 apprenticeship places on offer. The number of 16 to 24-year-olds potentially chasing them– totalled 649,000.
That means nationally on average there are around two-and-a-half young people aged 16 to 24 chasing each workplace apprenticeship on offer.
However, in the South West there are 53,000 young people chasing 28,860 workplaces – meaning just 1.8 candidates chasing each post.
At the opposite end of the scale, young Londoners face the hardest battle and the stiffest competition when seeking an apprenticeship with 98,000 youngsters chasing 24,140 workplace posts – or 4.06 people chasing each apprenticeship.
In demand: While London has the highest overall number of people chasing an apprenticeship place, it has the second lowest number of places on offer
The second best opportunity rate is in the North West where 86,000 people are chasing 43,080 workplaces – or two candidates per post.
In third place, is Yorkshire and Humberside with 67,000 young people chasing 30,690 places, a ratio of 1.8. It is followed by East Midlands, where the figure is 2.22, with 57,000 people chasing 25,680 posts, and the South East, where it is2.34, with 87,000 youngsters chasing 37,210 apprenticeships.
The West Midlands, heartland of the UK motor industry, is the second worst region with 83,000 youngsters vying for apprenticeships offered by 29,460 workplaces – meaning nearly three people chasing each post.
The report said: ‘In the last three years, London has either been last or last but one in every quarter, primarily due to the low number of workplaces employing apprentices in the capital, compared to other regions.’
‘On these figures, London would need to increase its number of workplaces employing apprentices from 24,140 to 39,516 – an increase of 64% – just to rank as average.’
London’s neighbouring South East region had 54 per cent more workplaces employing apprentices, it noted – highlighting that a reverse commute could pay off for young Londoners looking for in-work training
The iwantobea.com report notes: ‘Students who are on the border of two different regions should consider widening their search for an apprenticeship in order to improve their chances.’
The iwantobea.com Apprentice Index can be found here: https://www.iwantobea.com/apprentice-index-q4-2017/.