These are my latest reflections on the impact COVID-19 has had on new higher and degree apprenticeship vacancies. It’s an update to the blogs I posted on 19th May, 26th May and 1st June, with minor tweaks to the way I record and present the information.
During the week of 1st to 5th June I recorded 45 new Degree Apprenticeship vacancies and 32 new Higher Apprenticeship vacancies that were advertised nationally in England, generally using the government ‘Find an apprenticeship’ website. Comparatively speaking, this means that the number of new vacancies has been slashed by a huge margin of 77% over the past 11 weeks compared with the 11 weeks prior to lockdown. However, on a positive note, the downward curve has flattened out this week (the margin had been 80% after 10 weeks, 78% after 9 weeks and 77% after 8 weeks) and my hope is that it might be the start of a slow recovery.
In my degree apprenticeships ‘league table’, a clear top ten has now emerged. In fact, together I think the two league tables provide useful insights into the kinds of professional jobs that are becoming prominent and in demand. A good example of this is seeing UX Professionals moving up in the degree apprenticeship league. I haven’t yet met a young person who said they would like to be one.
I’m more than aware that some higher and degree apprenticeships never reach the government website, so the data I present gives a sketch of what’s happening rather than providing a fully reliable set of data. A specific example of this arose just over a week ago when Durham Constabulary’s latest Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship recruitment was opened. Unlike some other police forces in the last couple of years, it wasn’t advertised nationally. Also, most successful applicants will already live within its boundaries. However, my understanding is that the number of vacancies is significant to the extent that, had I been able to include it in my data, Police Constables would have leapt straight to the top of the degree apprenticeship league table by a large margin, well ahead of the otherwise dominant Digital Technology Solutions. This shows that there is more activity taking place than my stats can fully take account of. There’s a little more commentary on this below, along with a glimpse of further developments coming up next week in relation to Nursing Associates.
In the 11 weeks immediately prior to ‘lockdown’ (6th January to 20th March) I recorded:
- 1,090 new degree apprenticeships and 860 new higher apprenticeships giving a total of 1,950 and an average of 177 new vacancies each week.
In the 11 weeks since the start of lockdown (23rd March to 5th June) I have recorded:
- 251 new degree apprenticeships and 197 new higher apprenticeships giving a total of 448 and an average of 41 new vacancies each week.
Updated ‘league tables’
I have also updated my league tables in which I record the number of new vacancies in England broken down by what I loosely term ‘occupational areas’, which I find more useful in guidance than strictly adhering to the names of different apprenticeship standards.
Since the ‘lockdown’ date of 23/3/20, the occupational areas represented in each category are now as follows (starting with the highest):
In total there have been 251 new vacancies spread across 25 occupational areas and minimum starting salaries still range from £8,092 to £25,065pa.
1st Digital Technology Solutions* (current total = 58)
2nd Accountancy & Taxation
3rd Financial Services
4th Electrical/Electronic Engineers
5th Chartered Management
6th Control Engineers
7th Data Scientists & Analysts
8th Civil Engineers
9th Broadcast & Media Systems Engineers
10th Chemical Engineers
11th= Building Services Design Engineers
11th= Food Technologists
11th= Quantity Surveyors
14th= Building, Property & Valuation Surveyors
14th= Mechanical, Product Design & Development Engineers
14th= Packaging Technologists
14th= User Experience (UX) Professionals
18th= Materials Scientists
18th= Supply Chain Leadership
20th= Business to Business Sales Executive
20th= Cyber Security Technologist
20th= Environmental Practitioner
20th= Environmental Health Practitioner
20th= Laboratory Scientist
20th= Marketing Management
*Digital Technology Solutions has included a range of specific roles such as Software Engineering, Network Engineering, Data Analytics, Cyber Security, Infrastructure Engineering and BIM (Building Information Modelling).
Police Constables might also figure prominently in future. In my longer-term ‘league tables’ covering the period from October 2018 to June 2020, Police Constables (with over 1,200 vacancies) comes second only to Digital Technology Solutions (with over 1,400) in the degree apprenticeship league.
In total there have been 197 new vacancies spread across 27 occupational areas and minimum starting salaries still range from £6,474 to £29,000pa.
1st Software Developers (current total = 36)
2nd Manufacturing Engineering Technicians
3rd Project Management
4th= Data Analysts
4th= Science Laboratory Technicians
6th Broadcast & Media Systems Technicians
7th Electrical/Electronic Engineering Technicians
8th Investment Consultants
9th Accountancy & Taxation
10th Network Engineers
11th= Information Systems Business Analysts
11th= Sales Executives
11th= Software Testers
14th Buying, Procurement & Supply Chain
15th= Cyber Security Officers
15th= Policy Officers
17th= HR/Learning & Development/Employability Practitioners
17th= Insurance Professionals
17th= Operations Management
17th= Public Relations
22nd= Children, Young People & Family Practitioner
22nd= IT Support Professional
22nd= Learning & Skills Teacher
22nd= Quantity Surveying Technician
22nd= Regulatory Compliance Officer
22nd= Revenue & Benefits Officer
Looking ahead to next week, Nursing Associates is likely to make a conspicuous entry straight into the top ten in the higher apprenticeship league, as this morning 11 vacancies in the Mental Health field have just been advertised across Lancashire and Cumbria.
I will continue to observe how it pans out this week and will post further updates whenever I have time and when there are interesting developments to report. Given this morning’s significant entry into the charts by Nursing Associates, I think I will struggle to resist the temptation to post another update next Monday.
© Alan Bullock, 8/6/2020