Last updated: 12.03.13

David Cameron: Apprenticeships will become 'the new norm'

David Cameron has promised he will make apprenticeships the "new norm" for young people who do not wish to go to university after leaving school.

The prime minister announced he wants the UK to follow in Germany's footsteps by viewing work-based training alongside further education and will be formally responding to the Richard Review - which examined how the government can improve the quality of apprenticeships - later in the week.

During a trip to a training academy in Buckinghamshire today (March 11th) to mark National Apprenticeship Week, the politician is set to urge employers, educators and MPs to expand apprenticeship roles for school leaves.

Mr Cameron will say the training gives teenagers the chance to learn a trade to build their careers and creates the opportunity for firms to build a "world-class, highly-skilled workforce that can compete and thrive in the fierce global race we are in".

"Our drive to reform and strengthen apprenticeships, raising standards and making them more rigorous ... means that an apprenticeship is increasingly seen as a first choice career move," he is expected to add.

The prime minister will also state the country needs to look into how it can expand apprenticeship opportunities so that they are available to all individuals who are ready and eager to take them up.

Kicking off today and running until Friday, the sixth annual National Apprenticeship Week is designed to celebrate work-based training for young people and emphasise the benefits it brings to individuals, businesses and the economy as a whole.

Firms that feel inspired by the event to hire an apprentice may want to turn to the services of Virtual College, an e-learning provider that has its own Apprenticeship e-Academy, which is seeking to revolutionise the way employers deliver education to new starters.

The institution supplies tools and resources to companies and schools for apprenticeship training and selection as well as cutting organisational costs of recruitment delivery, it also means enterprises can meet their audit requirements and improve employee engagement.