Week 85: Higher & Degree Apprenticeship vacancies in England in the COVID era – another positive week

Latest reflections

Week 85 was dominated by multiple new vacancies with two of the bigger players. Unilever posted around 100 new DAs and HAs across various disciplines and six different sites, principally in London, Leatherhead and The Wirral. Meanwhile, The Dyson Institute of Engineering & Technology opened its annual recruitment, hence my photographic image of nearby Malmesbury Abbey in Wiltshire taken some years ago.

Once again there were some quite sharp regional variations, with the North East and East Midlands regrettably accounting for just 3% of the vacancies between them. Meanwhile, the occupational patterns continued to evolve in their intriguing ongoing way.

I’ve tweaked the title of these reports from ‘post-COVID’ to ‘in the COVID era’ because I don’t want to reinforce any sense that the pandemic is behind us. Nonetheless, whilst there will never be anywhere near enough higher and degree apprenticeships to satisfy the growing demand, the figures at least remain stable.    

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 suggest 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 1st to 7th November 2021, I recorded:

  • 130 new Degree Apprenticeship vacancies and
  • 153 new Higher Apprenticeship vacancies

In the 85 weeks since the start of lockdown (23rd March 2020 to 7th November 2021) I’ve now recorded:

  • 6,801 new Degree Apprenticeships (Levels 6/7) and
  • 7,213 new Higher Apprenticeships (Levels 4/5)
  • giving a total of 14,014

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 85 weeks since lockdown: 80 DAs + 85 HAs = 165 total 

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

Updated regional analysis

The 14,014 higher and degree apprenticeships advertised in England since the start of lockdown have been distributed as follows:

  • Greater London (3,039)
  • Yorkshire (1,323)
  • West Midlands (856)
  • Greater Manchester (722)
  • Bristol & Gloucestershire (594)
  • Hampshire (539)
  • Berkshire (467)
  • Hertfordshire (409)
  • Surrey (391)
  • Nottinghamshire (306)
  • Tyne & Wear (296)
  • Lancashire (289)
  • Cheshire (286)
  • Essex (280)
  • Merseyside (278)
  • Sussex (270)
  • Cambridgeshire (264)
  • Warwickshire (229)
  • Suffolk (212)
  • Devon (202)
  • Wiltshire (195)
  • Staffordshire (194)
  • Leicestershire (187)
  • Kent (177)
  • Somerset & South Bristol (177)
  • Northamptonshire (172)
  • Cumbria (169)
  • Bedfordshire (162)
  • Buckinghamshire (162)
  • Oxfordshire (161)
  • County Durham (160)
  • Dorset (146)
  • Derbyshire (141)
  • Worcestershire (134)
  • Norfolk (120)
  • Lincolnshire (103)
  • Shropshire (64)
  • Isle of Wight (32)
  • Cornwall (30)
  • Herefordshire (25)
  • 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.

  • 3,039   London (8,962,000: 3.39)
  • 2,199   South East (9,180,000: 2.40)
  • 1,744   North West (7,341,000: 2.38)
  • 1,502   West Midlands (5,934,000: 2.53)
  • 1,447   East of England (6,236,000: 2.32)
  • 1,344   South West (5,625,000: 2.39)
  • 1,323   Yorkshire & Humber (5,503,000: 2.40)
  •    907   East Midlands (4,836,000: 1.88)
  •    471   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 6,801 new vacancies spread across 90 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

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

495 Police Constables

471 Nurses (421 Adult, 31 Mental Health, 11 Learning Disability, 5 Older People, 3 Children)

431 Software Engineers

412 Chartered Managers (General)

307 Civil Engineers

271 Project Managers

218 Chartered Quantity Surveyors 

207 Chartered Building/Property/Valuation/Land Surveyors  

180 Data Scientists/Analysts

166 Electrical/Electronic Engineers

147 Product Design & Development Engineers

137 Food Technology/Production /Manufacturing Professionals

122 Supply Chain Leaders

113 Digital Marketing Professionals

109 Cyber Security Professionals

102 Aerospace Engineers

  85 Manufacturing Engineers

  82 Financial Services Professionals

  81 Sales Professionals

  75 Retail Leaders

  73 Network Engineers

  67 Laboratory Scientists

  66 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

  23 Electro-Mechanical/Mechatronics Engineers

  22 Creative Digital Design Professionals   

  21 Diagnostic Radiographers

  20 Clinical Trials Specialists

  19 Materials Science Technologists

  19 Packaging Professionals

  18 Human Resources / People Professionals  

  16 Environmental Health Officers

  13 Healthcare Science Practitioners: Physiology (8 Cardiovascular / 5 Respiratory/Sleep) 

  12 Chemical Engineers    

  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 Fitness/Leisure Centre Managers

    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 Journalists

    2 Midwives

    2 Physiotherapists

    2 Radiotherapists

    2 Tax Technologists

    1 Brewer

    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 7,213 new vacancies spread across 116 occupational areas and minimum starting salaries have ranged from £5,590 to £35,000pa. The occupational breakdown is as follows: 

696 Sales Executives

664 Software Developers 

599 Trainee Accountants / Accounting Technicians

586 Data Analysts

527 Project Management Associates

263 Manufacturing Engineering Technicians 

211 Construction Site Supervisors/Managers

186 Network Engineers

186 Tax Technicians

173 Nursing Associates

154 Software Testers

138 Quantity Surveying Technicians  

137 Business Analysts  

134 Cyber Security Technologists

130 Policy Officers

130 Public Relations & Communications Assistants

127 Civil/Site Engineering Technicians

120 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  

  81 Marketing Executives

  80 Retail Managers

  79 Regulatory Compliance Officers

  73 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     

  37 Recruitment Consultants/Resourcers

  28 Healthcare Assistant Practitioners

  28 Quality Practitioners

  27 Brewers 

  27 Hospitality Managers

  27 Paraplanners / Financial Advisers

  26 Early Years Lead Practitioners

  26 Learning, Skills & Development Practitioners  

  26 Ordnance Munitions & Explosives Technicians

  25 Nuclear Technicians

  24 Actuarial Technicians

  24 Adult Social Care Leaders

  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

  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 Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Practitioners

  10 Railway Engineering Technicians

    9 Hearing Aid Dispensers

    9 Naval Architects / Marine Engineering Technicians

    8 Hygiene Specialists

    8 Logistics/Supply Chain Specialists

    6 Employability Practitioners

    6 Healthcare Science Associates: Audiology    

    6 Healthcare Science Associates: Cardiorespiratory/Sleep Physiology

    5 Architectural Technicians

    5 Digital Community Managers

    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 Fitness Instructor

    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, 8/11/2021

http://www.alanbullockcareers.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.