The number of people starting an apprenticeship in travel, leisure and tourism has fallen since last year, despite the fact that more people than ever are taking part in an apprenticeship, according to provisional government figures.
Nearly 860,000 people were on an apprenticeship in 2012/13, and there were more than 1.5 million apprenticeships since 2010.
But the number of people who started an apprenticeship in travel, leisure and tourism in 2012/13 stood at 14,040, compared with 19,000 the year before, according to the provisional figures. The total number of starts across all types of apprenticeships in the 2012/13 academic year was 495,100.
The fall in travel, leisure and tourism starts may be explained in part by the Government's decision to focus on the quality of apprenticeships, insisting that all apprenticeships should involve a real job, have a minimum duration of a year, involve on-the-job training and respond to the needs of employers.
As a result, participation for under-19s has fallen overall, and the overall number of apprenticeship starts has not grown.
Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: "These figures show that a record 858,900 people participated in apprenticeships last year, which is almost 370,000 more than in 2009/10.
"This is good news for the economy, and good news for those getting the skills they need to prosper. There are now more options than ever before with a focus on the quality and rigour that people and employers want from apprenticeships.
"Our insistence that they must have a minimum duration, involve on-the-job training, and respond to the needs of employers means that it is rapidly becoming the new norm to take an apprenticeship or go to university."
Higher apprenticeships introduced by this government are now at the highest level they have ever been, while the participation in advanced level apprenticeships has increased by more than 50,000."