By Daniel Hunter

New statistics published today (Thursday) show an increase in the number of people starting an apprenticeship.

Provisional data shows that in the first half of the 2011/12 academic year (August 2011 to January 2012) 256,500 people started an apprenticeship, including 79,100 young people (aged under 19), 77,100 19-24 year olds and 100,300 adults aged 25 or over.

“These increases are extremely encouraging and it is testament to the Government’s unwavering commitment to apprenticeships," Skills Minister John Hayes said.

"They are at the heart of our skills policy because they equip people with the skills they need for a prosperous future and provide businesses with the expertise they need to grow.

“It is particularly encouraging to see the large number of apprenticeships for younger people.

“At the same time as increasing the number of apprenticeships, I have been relentless in my commitment to quality — striving to ensure that every apprenticeship is as good as the best.”

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