Far fewer people are finishing IT apprenticeships in the UK than are taking them up, new figures have shown.
The significant gap between the number of people beginning apprenticeships with IT companies in the UK and those completing them was revealed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in a written answer to parliament last week.
The BIS figures, announced by business minister Kevin Brennan, show that while 30,700 people started IT apprenticeships between 2005 and 2009, only 20,400 completed them.
The ratio of people completing apprenticeships is comparable to that of other industries over the same period - about the same as retail and commerce apprenticeships where 180,300 people started and 96,500 people finished, but lower than construction and planning apprenticeships where 106,200 started and 72,300 finished.
In the UK anyone over the age of 16 can sign up for a placement as an apprentice in any sector for a period of between one to four years.
Apprentices will earn a minimum of £95 a week, and split their time working for the firm and the occasional study day at college. Upon completion of their placement, apprentices will also receive an NVQ qualification.
Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.