Week 84: Higher & Degree Apprenticeship vacancies in England post COVID – a steady week

Latest reflections

In an interesting week the highlights included multiple new vacancies posted by some prominent employers, such as:

  • Management, digital and finance roles with the TUI Group in Luton
  • Finance and accountancy DAs with Kreston Reeves in London, Horsham and Canterbury
  • Railway Engineering DAs with Amey Consulting in Manchester and Birmingham
  • A selection of Building and Surveying HAs with Wates spread across numerous locations from Bristol to Newcastle.

Other notable features included an Arboriculturist HA in Derbyshire and, in total, 33 newly-posted vacancies in Luton. I think I’m right in saying that my photographic image, courtesy of Paul Gallimore on Pixabay, depicts Luton nestling in the distant valley.

I’ve also been reflecting on my regional data and in particular comparing the North East with London and the South East. Even when population differences are taken into account, the North East is about 60% worse off by my calculations. So there still seems to be some levelling up to be done. That said, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham often tend to feature strongly amongst the new vacancies, whereas the East Midlands is the second least-productive region. It’s probably fair to say that none of this is surprising, but having some actual data as evidence is quite useful I think.  

Background and methodology

Since the first ‘lockdown’ started on Monday 23rd March 2020, I’ve kept a record of new higher and degree apprenticeship vacancies posted in England and in doing so have built up an evolving occupational and regional analysis. I largely use data extracted every week from the government’s ‘Find an apprenticeship’ website, whilst also keeping an eye on other national vacancy sources including NHS Jobs, Not Going to Uni and Rate My Apprenticeship.

I only include vacancies at Levels 4 to 7 that ‘work-ready’ 18/19-year-olds seeking their first permanent role could reasonably apply for, whether at the point of leaving school/college or after a few months of temporary experience. If more than a year’s permanent experience is clearly required, I don’t include the vacancy in my figures.

I also collated similar data for a period of 70 weeks prior to the March 2020 lockdown. My weekly headline data therefore compares the pre-lockdown and post-lockdown figures and I now use the two 70-week periods either side of lockdown as a benchmark.

My data will never be fully reliable because not all vacancies are advertised nationally in a way that also gives an indication of actual numbers and locations. However, the analyses that I’ve built up paint an intriguing picture of what’s out there in a changing post-18 career landscape. The figures also suggests that supply is never likely to match demand and that there may be a significant mismatch between the occupations to which young people often aspire and the reality of what’s available.  

Headline data

During the latest period, from 25th to 31st October 2021, I recorded:

  • 113 new Degree Apprenticeship vacancies and
  • 141 new Higher Apprenticeship vacancies

In the 84 weeks since the start of lockdown (23rd March 2020 to 31st October 2021) I’ve now recorded:

  • 6,671 new Degree Apprenticeships (Levels 6/7) and 7,060 new Higher Apprenticeships (Levels 4/5), giving a total of 13,731

Using the 70 weeks either side of the initial COVID-19 lockdown (on 23/3/20) as a benchmark, my latest comparative figures are as follows:

  • Weekly average in the 70 weeks before lockdown: 82 DAs + 71 HAs = 153 total
  • Weekly average in the 70 weeks after lockdown: 84 DAs + 75 HAs = 159 total
  • Weekly average in the 84 weeks since lockdown: 79 DAs + 84 HAs = 163 total 

This shows that there’s been a continuing rise in HAs over the past three years, while DAs are gradually recovering after a very quiet summer.

Updated regional analysis

The 13,731 higher and degree apprenticeships advertised in England since the start of lockdown have been distributed as follows:

  • Greater London (2,964)
  • Yorkshire (1,302)
  • West Midlands (849)
  • Greater Manchester (716)
  • Bristol & Gloucestershire (589)
  • Hampshire (533)
  • Berkshire (465)
  • Hertfordshire (407)
  • Surrey (355)
  • Nottinghamshire (305)
  • Tyne & Wear (294)
  • Lancashire (286)
  • Cheshire (284)
  • Essex (277)
  • Sussex (268)
  • Cambridgeshire (264)
  • Merseyside (254)
  • Warwickshire (226)
  • Suffolk (208)
  • Devon (198)
  • Staffordshire (194)
  • Leicestershire (185)
  • Kent (177)
  • Somerset & South Bristol (174)
  • Northamptonshire (168)
  • Cumbria (167)
  • Oxfordshire (161)
  • County Durham (160)
  • Buckinghamshire (159)
  • Bedfordshire (156)
  • Wiltshire (154)
  • Derbyshire (141)
  • Worcestershire (134)
  • Dorset (134)
  • Norfolk (119)
  • Lincolnshire (103)
  • Shropshire (64)
  • Isle of Wight (32)
  • Cornwall (30)
  • Herefordshire (24)
  • Northumberland (12)
  • Rutland (1)
  • Work from your own home (3)
  • Not specified (35) 

The following list shows how those stats add up regionally. In brackets I’ve included the total population of each region using the latest ONS data rounded to the nearest 1,000, which gives a sense of proportion to the apprenticeship figures. For example, in population terms the North East is by far the smallest region, so the differences in apprenticeship numbers are not quite as disproportionate as they might appear. As a way of quantifying this a little further, I’ve added an extra stat in bold which indexes the apprenticeship figures against the total population of each region. In effect, the index equals the number of DAs and HAs post-lockdown per 10,000 of total population.

  • 2,964   London (8,962,000: 3.31)
  • 2,150   South East (9,180,000: 2.34)
  • 1,707   North West (7,341,000: 2.33)
  • 1,491   West Midlands (5,934,000: 2.51)
  • 1,431   East of England (6,236,000: 2.30)
  • 1,302   Yorkshire & Humber (5,503,000: 2.37)
  • 1,279   South West (5,625,000: 2.27)
  •    900   East Midlands (4,836,000: 1.86)
  •    469   North East (2,670,000: 1.76)
  •      38   Not specified/homeworking 

Updated occupational analysis

Each week I update my occupational analysis by breaking down the new vacancies into what I loosely term ‘occupational areas’, which in some cases differ from the official apprenticeship standards terminology. Since the start of lockdown in March 2020, the complete lists of occupational areas represented in each category are given below. In my view, this provides a fascinating insight into what the emerging occupations are in a changing landscape.

Degree Apprenticeships (Levels 6/7):

In total there have been 6,671 new vacancies spread across 89 occupational areas and minimum starting salaries have ranged from £6,708 to £30,629pa. The occupational breakdown is as follows: 

779 Accountancy/Tax/Audit Professionals

712 Digital Technology Solutions (General) *see below for details

495 Police Constables

468 Nurses (418 Adult, 31 Mental Health, 11 Learning Disability, 5 Older People, 3 Children)

421 Software Engineers

368 Chartered Managers (General)

307 Civil Engineers

269 Project Managers

217 Chartered Quantity Surveyors 

206 Chartered Building/Property/Valuation/Land Surveyors  

177 Data Scientists/Analysts

156 Electrical/Electronic Engineers

137 Product Design & Development Engineers

134 Food Technology/Production /Manufacturing Professionals

122 Supply Chain Leaders

109 Cyber Security Professionals

106 Digital Marketing Professionals

102 Aerospace Engineers

  85 Manufacturing Engineers

  82 Financial Services Professionals

  80 Sales Professionals

  75 Retail Leaders

  73 Network Engineers

  65 Laboratory Scientists

  56 Solicitors

  55 Professional Economists 

  54 Construction Managers

  50 Building Services Design Engineers 

  50 Railway/Rail Systems Engineers

  43 Control Engineers

  42 Nuclear Engineers

  40 Environmental Practitioners

  39 User Experience (UX) Design Professionals

  36 Operating Department Practitioners 

  30 Manufacturing & Production Managers (non-food)        

  25 Automotive Engineers

  24 Town Planners

  22 Creative Digital Design Professionals   

  21 Diagnostic Radiographers

  20 Clinical Trials Specialists

  19 Materials Science Technologists

  18 Human Resources / People Professionals  

  17 Packaging Professionals

  16 Environmental Health Officers

  13 Electro-Mechanical/Mechatronics Engineers

  12 Chemical Engineers

  12 Healthcare Science Practitioners: Physiology (8 Cardiovascular / 4 Respiratory/Sleep) 

  12 Recruitment Professionals

  12 Weapons Munitions & Explosives Engineers

  11 Architectural Assistants

  10 Broadcast/Media Systems Engineers

  10 Internal Audit Professionals    

    9 Healthcare Science Practitioners: Neurosensory (8 Neurophysiology, 1 Audiology)   

    9 Transport Planners    

    8 Gas Transmission Engineers

    8 Occupational Therapists

    8 Podiatrists

    8 Propulsion Engineers

    7 Geospatial Mapping/Surveying Professionals

    7 Healthcare Science Practitioners: Biomedical Science

    7 Marketing Managers

    7 Non-Destructive Testing Engineers

    7 Public Health Practitioners

    6 Actuarial Professionals

    6 Healthcare Science Practitioners: Clinical Engineering (3 Medical, 1 Radiation, 1 Renal, 1 Rehabilitation)

    6 Healthcare Science Practitioners: Medical Physics (4 Nuclear Medicine, 2 Radiation Physics)

    6 Social Workers 

    5 Operations Analysts

    4 Agricultural/Horticultural Advisers

    4 Healthcare Science Practitioners: Digital Healthcare Science

    3 Compliance & Risk Specialists

    3 Healthcare Science Practitioners: Bioinformatics

    2 Assistant Teachers

    2 Building Information Modelling (BIM) Specialists

    2 Buying & Procurement Professionals

    2 Chartered Legal Executives   

    2 Digital Transformation Engineers

    2 Education Technology Specialists

    2 Fitness/Leisure Centre Managers

    2 Journalists

    2 Midwives

    2 Physiotherapists

    2 Radiotherapists

    2 Tax Technologists

    1 Charity Manager

    1 Human Performance Engineer 

    1 Marine Engineer

    1 Population Health Intelligence Analyst

    1 Visual Merchandiser

*Digital Technology Solutions (General) has encompassed or led to the following range of specialisms:   

Software Engineer, Software Developer, Software Tester, Network Engineer, Data Scientist, Data Analyst, Data Architect, Network Architect, Cyber Security Specialist, IT Consultant, Solutions Consultant, Software Implementation Consultant, Software Consultant, Project Manager, Business Intelligence Specialist, Business Systems Engineer/Developer, Automation Developer, Technology Architect, Technology Manager, Innovation Technologist, Innovation Design Analyst, Agile Analyst, Application Support Analyst, Business Analyst, Global Mobility Analyst, Content Analyst, User Experience Researcher, Junior Product Manager, Infrastructure Specialist, DevOps Engineer, Solutions Engineer, Support Engineer, Cloud Engineer, Sales Engineer, Scientific Computing Specialist, Platform Manager, Amazon Web Services Specialist, Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition Specialist, Fixed Telecoms Specialist, IT Service Desk Analyst, Support Desk Analyst, WordPress Developer, Technology Operations & Service Delivery Specialist, Functional Consultant, Technical Consultant, Solution Engineering & Development Specialist, Client Delivery Specialist, Operations Resilience & Change Specialist. Some list!

Higher Apprenticeships (Levels 4/5):

In total there have been 7,060 new vacancies spread across 115 occupational areas and minimum starting salaries have ranged from £5,590 to £35,000pa. The occupational breakdown is as follows: 

688 Sales Executives

654 Software Developers 

588 Trainee Accountants / Accounting Technicians

554 Data Analysts

506 Project Management Associates

262 Manufacturing Engineering Technicians 

209 Construction Site Supervisors/Managers

186 Tax Technicians

180 Network Engineers

172 Nursing Associates

148 Software Testers

136 Quantity Surveying Technicians  

135 Business Analysts  

130 Policy Officers

129 Cyber Security Technologists

129 Public Relations & Communications Assistants

126 Civil/Site Engineering Technicians

116 Commercial Procurement & Supply Practitioners

115 Technician Scientists

111 Investment Operations Specialists

111 School Sports Coaches    

104 Children/Young People/Families Practitioners

  99 Building Services Engineering Technicians

  86 Construction Design & Build Technicians

  85 Insurance Professionals  

  79 Marketing Executives

  77 Regulatory Compliance Officers

  76 Retail Managers

  72 Buying & Merchandising Specialists

  56 Electrical/Electronic Engineering Technicians

  54 Food Technology/Engineering/Production Technicians 

  50 Associate Ambulance Practitioners

  43 DevOps Engineers

  43 Junior Management Consultants

  40 Human Resources Consultants/Partners     

  28 Healthcare Assistant Practitioners

  27 Brewers 

  27 Paraplanners / Financial Advisers

  27 Quality Practitioners

  27 Recruitment Consultants/Resourcers

  26 Learning, Skills & Development Practitioners  

  25 Nuclear Technicians

  24 Actuarial Technicians

  24 Adult Social Care Leaders

  24 Hospitality Managers

  23 Early Years Lead Practitioners

  21 Automotive Engineering/Propulsion Technicians 

  20 Estate Agency Negotiators

  19 Automation & Control Engineers

  17 Internal Audit Practitioners

  17 Mineral Products Technicians

  16 Media Production Co-ordinators

  16 Ordnance Munitions & Explosives Technicians

  15 Dairy Technologists

  15 Housing & Property Managers

  14 Countryside Rangers

  14 Fibre Cable Engineers

  14 Journalists

  14 Police Community Support Officers

  13 Improvement Specialists

  13 Operations Managers   

  12 Broadcast & Media Systems Technicians

  12 Revenue & Welfare Benefits Officers    

  11 Vehicle Damage Assessors  

  10 Railway Engineering Technicians

    9 Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Practitioners

    9 Hearing Aid Dispensers

    9 Naval Architects / Marine Engineering Technicians

    8 Hygiene Specialists

    8 Logistics/Supply Chain Specialists

    6 Employability Practitioners

    5 Architectural Technicians

    5 Digital Community Managers

    5 Healthcare Science Associates: Audiology    

    5 Healthcare Science Associates: Cardiorespiratory/Sleep Physiology

    4 Conveyancing Technicians

    4 Counter Fraud Investigators

    4 Fire Safety Inspectors

    4 School Business Professionals

    4 Unified Communications Trouble Shooters

    3 Information Managers

    3 Post-Production Technical Operators (Film/TV)

    3 Senior Culinary Chefs

    3 Sports Development Officers   

    2 Early Intervention Practitioners

    2 Healthcare Science Associates: Medical Engineering

    2 Healthcare Science Associates: Medical Physics

    2 Healthcare Science Associates: MRI Radiography

    2 Healthcare Science Associates: Phlebotomy

    2 Historic Site Advisers

    2 Intelligence Analysts

    2 Paralegals

    2 Port Marine Operations Officers

    2 Railway Operations Managers

    2 Rehabilitation Officers (Visual Impairment) 

    2 Tax Technology Technicians

    2 VFX Artists

    1 Acoustics Technician

    1 Arboriculturist

    1 Building Information Modelling (BIM) Technician

    1 Chemical Process Technician

    1 Community Energy Specialist

    1 Dental Technician

    1 Facilities Manager

    1 Fitness Club Manager

    1 Games Designer

    1 Gymnastics & Trampolining Coach

    1 Healthcare Science Associate: Biochemistry

    1 Healthcare Science Associate: Speech Therapy

    1 Lighting Designer

    1 Metrology Technician

    1 Passenger Transport Manager

    1 Tennis Coach

    1 Textiles Technician

    1 Wedding Accessories Designer

    1 Wedding Venue Co-ordinator

Going forward

I hope to continue updating these reports on a mainly weekly basis.

© Alan Bullock, 31/10/2021

http://www.alanbullockcareers.com

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