Online applications for apprenticeships up by a third

image captionOnline demand for apprenticeships far outstrips supply

Online applications for apprenticeships in the UK have risen almost a third, according to data released by the National Apprenticeship Service.

More than 1.4 million applications were made during the 12 months to the end of July, up 32% compared with last year.

Demand far outstripped supply, with an average of 11 applicants for each of the 129,000 vacancies posted online.

Live event promotion was the most popular job area, with 35 applicants per vacancy.

Vacancies in plumbing and heating were the next most popular, with 33 applicants for each apprenticeship.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: "We want to see it become the norm that young people either go to university or into an apprenticeship.

"To match the growing popularity of apprenticeships, I would urge more employers to consider how hiring an apprentice could benefit their business."

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