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Apprentices: Per Capita Costs

Volume 506: debated on Wednesday 24 February 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what the average annual cost to the Government is of an apprenticeship undertaken through the National Apprenticeship Service. (318239)

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Children, Schools and Families allocate funding to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) for the provision of apprenticeships in England. Planned investment for 16-18 and adult apprenticeships for 2009-10 and 2010-11 financial years is given in the following table.


Financial year



16-18 apprenticeships



Adult (aged 19 and over) apprenticeships




Adult apprenticeships—BIS Skills Investment Strategy 2010-11, November 2009

16-19 apprenticeships—DCSF 16-19 Statement of Priorities and Investment Strategy 2010-11

Apprenticeships for those aged 16-18 are fully funded by the public purse. For learners aged 19 or over the employer is expected to make a contribution towards the cost of the course.

The public cost of delivering an apprenticeship varies significantly depending on the industry in which the apprenticeship framework is being delivered; whether the framework is at level 2 or 3; and whether the participant is in the 16-18, 19-25 or 25+ age group. For example the LSC estimates that it costs £2,749 to deliver a level 2 adult apprenticeship framework in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools and £4,083 to deliver the level 3 equivalent framework. Between industries the difference in estimated costs can be more marked. LSC estimates that the cost of delivering a level 3 adult apprenticeship in clock and watch repair is £13,409 but the cost of an adult apprenticeship at the same level in business and administration is £3,327.

It is not therefore possible to provide a meaningful average cost to the public purse of an apprenticeship.