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Swale Skills Centre, Sittingbourne

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Apprenticeships in Kent up by 24% in four years

Swale Skills Centre, Sittingbourne

Swale Skills Centre, Sittingbourne

As National Apprenticeship Week starts today (14 March), it has been announced that in the last four years, the number of people starting apprenticeships in Kent grew by 2,290.

Of the 17 constituencies in Kent, Folkestone and Hythe had the highest growth in the number of people becoming an apprentice, up 330 to 1,090 from 2011 to 2015.

“We have seen strong growth in start ups in the area who are now looking to take on people,” said the area’s MP Damian Collins.

“Creative businesses in Folkestone that were new five years ago are taking on apprenticeships.

“There has also been a big push from Shepway District Council to promote awareness of the funding available to businesses trying to take on an apprentice.”

Other constituencies recording a high growth were Rochester and Strood with an increase of 300 and Sittingbourne and Sheppey with an increase of 290. Only Canterbury and Faversham and Mid Kent reported a small decline.

Over the past four years, between the 2010/11 and 2014/15 academic years, 2.4 million apprenticeships were made across England, with the government setting a target of 3 million more over the course of this parliament.

In 2014/15, people aged 25 and over made up 43% of all apprenticeship starts across the country and were the largest group of starters for the fifth year in a row, with 214,000 apprenticeships compared with 160,000 aged 19-24 and 126,000 under 19.

The sectors making up the majority of starts are administration, business, and law make up, with health, public services and care coming in second, and together making up 55% of new apprenticeship starts. At the other end of the scale arts, media and publishing only made up 1,000 new starts.

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