Latest figures published by the Skills Funding Agency shows there were 40 starts onto the Fashion and Textiles Apprenticeship between November 2015 and January this year to make it 120 starts in the first half of the academic year.
Figure 1: Apprenticeship starts in England (2015/16 figures first half of the academic year)
Source: Skills Funding Agency SFR (n.b. 2013/14 figures included 10 starts on the L4 Fashion and Textiles: Technical framework)
Whilst, 40 starts is half of the number reported in the first quarter, this does put Apprenticeship starts in position to surpass the numbers reported annually in the first three years of the Apprenticeship being on stream although 2014/15 figures will require another 150 starts over the next six months.
In the context of Apprenticeships, it will be interesting to see how the Apprenticeship levy being introduced in 2017 will impact training, formalising many companies’ approaches to their skills needs.
Given manufacturers are on the whole looking to increasing workforce numbers yet have a number of issues surrounded recruitment and skills, how the new system is able to impact these needs will be interesting to watch.