Apprenticeships are an excellent way to gain real-life work experience and receive structured training while earning a salary. It’s no surprise, therefore, that we saw a 6.1% increase in higher apprenticeship starts compared to last year. However, with more apprentices kickstarting their careers comes greater competition for places. We look at the top 10 in-demand apprenticeship sectors in 2023 to give you a better idea of where to focus your apprenticeship search.
Top 10 In-Demand Apprenticeship Sectors
We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 most popular apprenticeship sectors based on the most recent data and projections.
1. Health and Science
Data shows that the healthcare sector had almost 100,000 apprenticeship starts. That counts for nearly a third of all apprenticeship starts in the last year, the most of any sector. This shows that the healthcare sector has a strong need for apprentices in roles like mental health nurse, pharmacy technician, dental nurse, and care worker.
The sciences also offer apprenticeships in areas like laboratory skills, clinical trials, biomedical engineering, and more. With demand growing for healthcare services and science/tech roles, this is one of the top sectors for apprenticeships in 2023.
→ View Health and Science Apprenticeship Standards
2. Business and Administration
The business and administration sectors have the second-highest number of starts in the last year. They provide apprenticeships across a wide range of roles whose main objective is to keep organisations running smoothly. Some specific positions include office managers, executive assistants, project coordinators, human resources assistants and bookkeepers.
One of the main benefits of these roles is that they develop transferable skills in areas like organisation, communication, analysis and more. Looking forward, business admin apprenticeships can lead to management positions and other high-paying career opportunities. Administrative staff are in constant demand so this sector will only continue to grow.
→ View Business and Administration Apprenticeship Standards
3. Engineering and Manufacturing
The engineering and manufacturing sector ranks third in the top 10 most in-demand sectors for apprenticeships in 2023. Engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships develop highly technical skills for building and maintaining infrastructure, machinery, and other complex systems. Some key apprenticeship roles include gas engineer, civil engineer, maintenance engineer, and welder, among others.
The UK is home to advanced manufacturing, aerospace, automotive and other engineering industries like Rolls Royce, BAE Systems, Airbus, and Siemens, to name a few. As a result, there’s a strong demand for technical apprentices with skills in these areas.
→ View Engineering and Manufacturing Apprenticeship Standards
4. Legal, Finance, and Accounting
The legal, finance and accounting sectors have always been a popular choice for apprentices looking to get their foot in the door at some of the most prestigious firms in the UK and around the world. There are many available apprenticeships in these sectors including paralegal, legal secretary, accounting, and financial services. All of these apprenticeships teach skills needed in the legal and finance world. Apprentices may work in law firms, banks, insurance companies, and more.
→ View Legal, Finance, and Accounting Apprenticeship Standards
When people think of apprenticeships, this is usually the sector that first comes to mind. However, as we’ve seen from this list of the top 10 in-demand apprenticeship sectors, it ranks as the fifth most popular sector for apprentice starts. It remains an in-demand sector as the skills needed for these jobs require hands-on learning and mentoring, which is exactly what you get from an apprenticeship.
Common career paths in this sector include carpenters, electricians, plumbers, bricklayers and other tradespeople. And with the UK construction industry hitting high growth rates in 2023, there will be a continued demand for apprentices in this sector.
→ View Construction Apprenticeship Standards
IT and communication technology apprenticeships are becoming incredibly popular among school leavers and adult career changers. In fact, with 22,820 starts in the last year, it’s the highest number of starts in this sector in the last 5 years.
Digital apprenticeships develop software developers, data analysts, network engineers and other tech professionals to meet growing demand in this industry.
→ View Digital Apprenticeship Standards
7. Education and Childcare
The education and training sector is the 7th most popular sector for apprenticeships. This sector has typically been populated by university graduates who have completed degrees in education. However, with changing attitudes towards apprenticeships and increased government investment, it’s now possible to access this sector without racking up thousands in student debt.
Common apprenticeships in this industry include early childhood educators, teaching assistants, and childcare apprenticeships, among others. So, if you’re interested in a rewarding career working with children, check out the available apprenticeships below.
→ View Education and Childcare Apprenticeship Standards
8. Creative and Design
Are you more interested in being creative? Perhaps you’re into design, art, fashion, or special effects. Well, you’re in luck. The creative and design sector has a wide variety of apprenticeships available for the artists among us.
Apprenticeships in graphic design, photography, fashion, music, and more allow creatives to get hands-on experience in arts businesses.
→ View Creative and Design Apprenticeship Standards
9. Catering and Hospitality
The catering and hospitality industry took a massive hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. An estimated £100 billion in sales was lost over 15 months and hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs. Nevertheless, the industry has bounced back and we’re seeing steady growth in the sector once again. Manchester has even seen sales exceed pre-pandemic levels which is a great sign for the industry.
Some of the most in-demand apprenticeships in the catering and hospitality sector include chefs, restaurant staff, hotel workers, and tourism.
→ View Catering and Hospitality Apprenticeship Standards
10. Sales, Marketing and Procurement
Apprenticeships in sales, marketing and procurement give apprentices the chance to work in a range of environments while developing key transferable skills. Specific roles include retail sales associates, digital marketing assistants, account managers, procurement/purchasing specialists, and corporate sales representatives.
Apprentices gain skills in key areas like sales, account management, marketing, negotiation, analytics and more. With the largest advertising market in Europe, the UK spent £35 billion on ads in 2022. It’s no wonder it continues to be an in-demand sector for apprentices.
→ View Sales, Marketing and Procurement Apprenticeship Standards
How to Find In-Demand Apprenticeship Sectors
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