The biggest increase was seen in the age category 35-44, which saw an increase of more than 20% compared to the previous year.
Only a quarter of apprenticeship starts in 2018/19 were from people aged under 19, down from 28% in 2017/18.
In line with these findings, insurance company Aviva, announced this week that over two fifths of their levy-funded apprentices are over 30 years old.
Sophie Gray, Head of Apprenticeships at Aviva, said: “Originally we thought apprenticeships would primarily attract new talent to entry-level roles, but the diversity of schemes means we can be more inclusive for people from different backgrounds and career stages – be it school leavers, people returning to work, or people reinventing their careers. “
And it’s not all new employees, two thirds of apprentices are existing employees looking to broaden their skills including core skills such as underwriting and actuarial, but also looking at developing new skills such as digital, analytics and cyber.
Gray said: "We’ve found that this makes for more engaged and dedicated employees, with the skills they develop being extremely valuable to us.
“We also have people who come to us with fresh ideas, motivation and a propensity to learn over time. We’re embracing new skills such as Data Science to equip us for the future and apprenticeships are helping us grow our own experts."
While fewer people are taking part in apprenticeships compared to 2017/18, there are still 742,400 people employed by apprenticeships in England.