A record number of people are applying for apprenticeships, with up to 17 per vacancy, figures show.
Almost 370,000 applications were made online in the quarter to April, an increase of a third compared to the same time last year.
The number of apprenticeships being advertised rose by 15% to 32,600, with between 10 and 17 people applying for each position.
The National Apprenticeship Service said the most competition was in London, with 17 applications per vacancy.
The biggest increases in apprenticeship vacancies were in vehicle sales, the power industry, clinical healthcare support, advanced engineering construction and leisure management.
The most competitive sectors included the arts, media and publishing.
Skills minister Matthew Hancock said: "With more vacancies than ever before, apprenticeships are fast becoming the norm for young people who want to achieve their career goals through an alternative route to university.
"We want more employers to take advantage of the advice and support available from the National Apprenticeship Service and consider how hiring an apprentice could benefit their business."