Publication of Higher Level Apprenticeships in Northern Ireland: Academic years 2017/18 – 2020/21

Date published: 23 February 2022

The Department for the Economy has today published a statistical bulletin on Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) activity.

Survey of Further Education College Leavers
Survey of Further Education College Leavers

This official statistics release presents a range of analysis on the Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) level 4/5 programme in Northern Ireland. This covers provision across the academic years 2017/18 to 2020/21 and reports on HLAs delivered in Northern Ireland Further Education (FE) colleges and the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE). The statistics presented in this bulletin cover the characteristics of the participants enrolled on HLA courses and analysis of performance in terms of achievements.

Key points:

• In academic year 2020/21, there were 413 starts on an HLA programme. This was a decrease of 140 (25.3 per cent) compared to 553 HLA starts recorded in 2019/20.
• A trend is emerging showing more males are entering HLA programmes than females. Approximately one in three starts in 2020/21 were female; 134 females compared to 279 males.
• In total there were 990 participants on HLA programmes in 2020/21; this included 413 starts, 462 in year 2 and 115 in year 3.
• In 2020/21, ‘Engineering and manufacturing technologies’ was the most popular subject area, accounting for over one third (36.6 per cent) of all HLA participants.
• The overall success rate for final year individuals in 2020/21 was 91.1 per cent (358 participants); an increase of 6.4 percentage points compared to 2019/20 (84.7 per cent).

This full statistical bulletin and other information is available to download on the DfE website.

Notes to editors: 

1. The statistics presented in this bulletin are based on data derived from two sources:

  • The FE colleges submit an electronic data return from the FE Leaner Management system called the Consolidated Data return (CDR) to the Department.
  • College of Agriculture, Food & Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) Administration System.

2. An academic year period is defined by each provider and can potentially differ; an academic year traditionally starts in August and finishes in July the following year.

3. Further notes and details are available in the bulletin on the Department’s website.

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6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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