Stats of the week

The Department for Education has released a statistical data set regarding apprenticeships. Below are the main headlines for our region:

  • 38,210 people started apprenticeships in the North East last academic year – 2015/16.
  • This is an increase of 2,990 or 8.49% on 2014/15 and an increase of 24,750 on 2005/06 – almost a threefold increase (2.84 times).
  • The number of apprenticeships in each of the 12 local authorities in the North East have more than doubled in the past 10 years – this increase was largest in Darlington (3.86 times) and smallest in South Tyneside (2.51 times).
  • North Tyneside was the only local authority with fewer apprenticeship starts in 2015/16 (2,610) than in 2014/15 (2,700).
  • Adjusting for the size of local authority populations, South Tyneside and Sunderland have the most apprenticeships, whilst Newcastle has the least – in real terms County Durham has by far the most apprenticeships, but it also has by far the largest population.
  • Given that parliamentary constituencies are all roughly the same size, it may be useful to look at the top and bottom 5 constituencies in the region by number of apprenticeships:


Top 5   Bottom 5
Washington and Sunderland West 1,670   Hexham 680
Sunderland Central 1,590   Berwick Upon Tweed 820
Darlington 1,540   Newcastle upon Tyne East 890
Easington 1,540   City of Durham 1,010
Bishop Auckland 1,530   Newcastle upon Tyne Central 1,050


  • Both Washington and Sunderland West and Sunderland Central are in the top 10 English constituencies by number of apprentices.
  • Despite the North East representing just 5.44% of the 533 English constituencies, 40% of the top 25 constituencies by number of apprenticeships are in the region.
  • More apprentices started in the North East – proportionate to population – than any other region:


Region Apprentice starts Total population % of population starting an apprenticeship
North East 38,210 2,596,886 1.47%
Yorkshire and the Humber 63,520 5,283,733 1.20%
North West 80,820 7,052,177 1.15%
West Midlands 60,910 5,601,847 1.09%
East Midlands 48,080 4,533,222 1.06%
South West 54,160 5,288,935 1.02%
East of England 46,650 5,846,965 0.80%
South East 65,290 8,634,750 0.76%
London 46,280 8,173,941 0.57%


  • The sector with the most apprenticeship starts in the North East in 2015-16 was Business, Administration and Law (10,970), followed by Health, Public Services and Care (8,890) and Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies (7,240).
  • This is similar to the national top 3, although in this case Retail and Commercial Enterprise takes the place of Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies in third.
  • Of all the English regions, the North East has the highest proportion of apprenticeships in the following sectors; Construction, Planning and the Built in Environment, and Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies.
  • Of all the English regions, the North East has the lowest proportion of apprenticeships in the following sectors; Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care, Education and Training, Health, Public Services and Care, and Leisure, Travel and Tourism.