Nick Clegg has today launched the government's National Apprenticeship Week campaign, by criticising the assumptions associated with vocational qualifications.
The Deputy Prime Minister wants to change the 'second division' perception of apprenticeships over academic qualifications.
A Cadbury's apprentice has told ITV News Central that vocational skills should be seen on the same level as academic qualifications.
Faye Hudson, one of 53 apprentices at Cadbury's, believes the opportunity to 'earn and learn' has offered her more than university could have, after quitting her degree for on the job training.
Today marks the beginning of National Apprentice Week – a government campaign that highlights its £1.5billion investment in training schemes across the UK.
The number of apprentices in the Midlands has increased by more than ten per cent in the last year, according to the National Apprenticeship Service.
Mondelez, which owns Cadbury's, is one employer in the Midlands investing in apprenticeship schemes. It's predicted within ten years, the number of apprentices will rise by 85 per cent, which the government says will help rebuild the economy.
National Apprentice Week starts today.
This year it is about showcasing the achievements and benefits Apprenticeships deliver, for apprentices, their employers and the economy.
Organisers also want to utilise their experiences to persuade others to get involved.
Mondelez International, who own Cadbury's in Bournville, has employed apprentices for a long time.
It currently has 53 working across different areas of the UK and Ireland. This year they hope to employ another 22.
It's thought apprenticeships are now being considered as an alternative to university.