National Apprentice Week, which started today, is designed to highlight the positive impact apprentices can have on individuals, on business and on the economy.
This is a fact not lost on Rio Ferdinand, who still remembers his early days as an apprentice at West Ham.
"Cleaning boots, cleaning the shower, cleaning the first team changing rooms, and getting a grilling from the senior players if you didn't clean the boots properly....
"It gives you a good grounding and it's a good place to start so you appreciate things a bit more when you do well and enjoy your career."
Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand has been getting behind National Apprenticeship Week - which started today.
Manchester College has pledged to place 50 local young people into jobs in five days.
The first apprentice to take up a job is 18-year-old Rhys Owen, who is starting as a chef in Ferdinand's restaurant in Manchester Rosso.
Rio Ferdinand insists any move to stamp out diving must extend beyond the Premier League.Read the full story ›
Rio Ferdinand has signed a one-year contract extension with Manchester United. The deal will extend Ferdinand's time at Old Trafford into a 12th season.
Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand has announced his retirement from international football. Here's a look back at his football career.Read the full story ›
It is important to pay tribute to someone of Rio’s stature and the achievements he had in a senior international career with England over 14 years at the highest level.
To have captained his country, to play at three World Cups and indeed score in one of those, marks him out amongst a very special group of players.
I appreciated the call from Rio to inform me of his decision, which clearly he had spent much time considering before reaching this point.
I wish him all the best in his club career, and I’m sure the former managers he played under and every England fan will join me in thanking him for his service.
After a great deal of thought, I have decided the time is right for me to retire from international football.
At the age of 34, I feel it is right for me to stand aside and let the younger players come through, which allows me to concentrate on my club career.
The team looks in great shape and there is an influx of young, talented players coming through the ranks which bodes well for the future.
I regard it as a great honour and a privilege to have represented my country at every level from U17s upwards.
I have always been very proud to play for England. I would like to wish Roy and the team all the best for future tournaments.
A big thank you to all the fans, managers, coaching staff and players that I have worked alongside - the journey has been incredible.
Manchester United defender, Rio Ferdinand who lifted the Premier League title for the sixth time on Sunday, has announced his retirement after earning 81 caps.
Ferdinand made his debut against Cameroon at Wembley in 1997, which at the time made him the youngest ever defender to play for England.
England have been reported to FIFA by anti-racism group FARE after chants about Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand and his brother Anton during the games with San Marino and Montenegro.
Ferdinand, who withdrew from the England squad on fitness grounds, has condemned the chants on his Twitter page.
Sir Alex Ferguson fears it's a sign of the times.