Numbers of apprenticeships in the North East are failing to keep up with the demand from people, new figures show.
Applications from apprenticeships in the North East are higher than anywhere in the UK, but companies need to create more positions in order to meet demand.
The National Apprenticeship Service has revealed an 11% increase in apprenticeship vacancies posted online on its website between August and October last year, compared to the same period last year.
And the region recorded the greatest leap in applications with 33,430 applications made during the period – a 60% increase on last year.
But with online applications skyrocketing to 33,430 – around 18 for every available post in the North East, higher than the national average of 12 – the Government is urging employers in the North East to create more apprenticeship positions to meet the swell in demand.
Skills and enterprise minister Matthew Hancock said: “These figures show that apprenticeships are growing in appeal to young people, and yet more young women are seeking out this unique opportunity to earn while they learn and gain a recognised qualification while notching up vital work experience.
“With new independent research revealing that one in five employers currently have former apprentices working in senior, board level, positions, it’s also very encouraging to see vacancies increasing and new employers coming on board.
“But with each online position attracting an average of 12 applications, demand continues to outstrip supply and I would urge more employers to consider how they can take advantage of this available pool of talent and grow their business through apprenticeships.”
The Apprenticeship Service has also revealed that apprenticeships are attracting increasing numbers of applications from women.
Online applications from women have increased by more than half since last year, with 216,100 applications made by females in the three month period – a 55% increase. This has also served to narrow the male gender bias, with 47% of all applications for apprenticeships made by females this year compared to 43% last year.
In the North East the greatest numbers of both applications and vacancies were in the business, administration and law sector with 12,430 applications made during the period for some 830 apprenticeships.
The sector with the highest ratio of applications to vacancies was education and training, which attracted an average of 27 applications per vacancy, followed by arts, media and publishing and IT.
London and the North East saw the most competition per online vacancy, with each vacancy attracting an average of 18 applicants.