Demand for apprenticeships in the ICT sector is rising at almost twice the rate of the number of vacancies up for grabs, according to figures from the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS).
The number of apprenticeship vacancies posted by employers in the ICT sector grew by 15 per cent to 1,494 between February and April 2013.
But the increase in demand for places is expanding at almost twice that rate, with applications in the sector during that period leaping 27.6 per cent to 25,750.
It is a similar picture for apprenticeships in general, with the growth in demand far outstripping the increase in the number of places available. The release of the latest data coincides with the NAS' launch of two new guides designed to get both SMB and large employers on board.
Across all sectors, the number of apprenticeship vacancies rose by 15 per cent to 32,600, while the number of applications jumped 32 per cent to 370,000.
ICT, along with arts and the media, was one of the most competitive sectors for which to apply, with more than 17 applications per vacancy.
Skills minister Matthew Hancock MP said apprenticeships are fast becoming the norm for career-minded young people who have ruled out university.
"We want more employers to take advantage of the advice and support available from the National Apprenticeship Service and consider how hiring an apprentice could benefit their business," he said.
David Way, executive director of the NAS, said: "The National Apprenticeship Service aims to make it really easy for employers to hire an apprentice. The launch of these new online employer tools will further enhance the service we already offer employers – whatever their size and whatever their needs. For SMEs there is also the added incentive of £1,500, to assist them in the recruitment of apprentices."
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