Nick Linford

Nick Linford

Nick is ADI's director and apprenticeship expert

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October broke records and Multiverse tops table for September

Today the DfE published the latest apprenticeship starts at a national and provider level (here), covering the months of August, September and October 2022 – what they call quarter one (Q1) of the 2022/23 academic year.

It would be easy to focus on the overall 6% decline in starts compared to the same time in the previous year – but this would be to ignore two important factors.

Firstly, although it was subsequently extended until May 2022, providers were told that September 2021 would be the last month of the £3,000 incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice (see here). This resulted in a big spike in starts, with 76,481 in September 2021, compared to just 45,669 in Sept 2020 and still well above 68,837 in September 2019 (pre-Covid). So, without the £3,000 incentive, it’s no surprise that starts fell.

But October 2022 starts have been a record high at 35,248 (up 14%!) – suggesting the figures published today may in fact be a cause for celebration. See table below.

Taking a closer look at starts by apprenticeship provider, the rapid growth of one provider in particular stands out.

The largest providers by starts has been dominated since 2019/20 by Lifetime Training, British Army, BPP and Kaplan.

But, Multiverse, formerly WhiteHat, has gone from being the 165th largest provider with just 205 starts in Q1 of 19/20 to becoming the 5th largest providers for Q1 of 22/23 with 1,922 starts (more than double their 926 for Q1 of 21/22)

And for the month of September 2022, Multiverse actually took the top spot, by some margin, starting more apprentices than any other apprenticeship provider.

In addition to now being an online only provider, which is highly unusual for the largest providers, a few other statistics really stand out for Multiverse. Just over 75% percent of their apprenticeship starts were for people over the age of 25 in Q1 of 2022/23 (national average was 31%). And the DfE data also shows that 72% of the Multiverse apprentice starts in Q1 of 2022/23 had been in the job for more than 12 months (compared to a national average of 31%). 

What is also interesting is that of the 9 standards that Multiverse had starts on in Q1 of 2021/22, they appear to be mainly focusing growth on just three fairly short standards that have relatively high funding caps. Data analyst at level 4 (£15k cap), Data Technician at Level 3 (£12k cap) and Business Analyst at Level 4 (£18k cap). See table below. 

Source: All starts data in this ADI post was taken from a single ‘underlying data’ spreadsheet, published today by the DfE (download here).