A record 11 applications are being made for each apprenticeship vacancy in the UK, the latest official data suggests.
Almost 370,000 applications were submitted between February and April, while 32,600 vacancies were advertised in the same period.
But competition was as high as 17 per place in the arts, media and ICT.
The National Apprenticeship Service said there had been a 32% increase in demand for such subsidised on-the-job training placements since last year.
However, vacancies have not kept pace with rising demand, going up only 15% over the same period in the previous year.
The number of applications per vacancy went above 11 for the first time, although it had been hovering around 10 for some time, according to the NAS.
Nonetheless, the NAS said there were 17,700 available vacancies online late last month, the highest on record.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor