By Marcus Leach

Final statistics published today (Tuesday) show that 457,200 apprenticeship starts were delivered in the full 2010/11 academic year.

This represents a 63.5% increase on 2009/10 figures. Growth took place at all levels of learning, for all age groups, and across all sectors and all regions.

The Statistical First Release gives data on apprenticeship success rates for 2010/11 for the first time: 76.4% of learners successfully completed their apprenticeship.

“Clarity of policy, strength of commitment and certainty of purpose has delivered record numbers of apprenticeship starts, outstanding success rates and growth across all sectors," Skills Minister John Hayes said.

“This success, mirrored in every English region, is putting businesses on stronger ground to deliver a more balanced economy. It is equipping young people with the skills that build prosperous careers, and forging communities in which the common good is served through creative endeavour and purposeful pride.

“My relentless commitment to quality has become a hallmark of delivery in Government. I’ll now go further to drive up standards, ensuring that quality always matches quantity.

“Thousands of higher apprenticeships will open up new pathways to excellence for the brightest and best learners. A zero tolerance approach to unnecessary red tape, and new financial incentives for small firms will enable more employers to offer gold standard training to match and beat our international competitors.”

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