PROVISIONAL figures show the number of apprentices on learning programmes has doubled in the last year.

The statistics, which were released by the Welsh Government, showed that 5,260 young people started on programmes between April and July 2012 and that 10,435 people started between April and July 2013.

The Welsh Government also said the Young Recruits Programme has also benefited from funding and that there are more people in work-based learning than ever before.

Ken Skates, the deputy minister for skills and technology, said: “Although we recognise these figures are still provisional, there is evidence here of a very clear link between the number of apprenticeship learning programmes and the Welsh Government’s additional £20 million investment in apprenticeships.

“The increase in the number of new apprentices between April and July this year shows that this funding is already having a significant impact and is yet further evidence of the return on our investment.

“The Young Recruits Programme has also been one of the major success stories of this year.”

He added: “Demand for the programme has been extremely high and we are currently looking at ways in which we can maintain support to employers in order to encourage them to recruit young apprentices during the remainder of this financial year.”