- 3 updates
Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to announce that in future, apprenticeships will last at least a year and will be based on standards designed by employers, to meet the specific needs of their industry.
Apprentices will be subjected to more thorough academic assessment - including maths and English tests - and graded at pass, merit or distinction level in a similar way to their contemporaries in full-time education. At least 20% of their training will take place away from their work stations.
Downing Street said it was intended that all new apprenticeships will meet the new standards by 2017/18.
Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to frame the "new era of apprentices" as part of the Government's efforts to consolidate the growth now returning to the UK economy in a speech later today.
During a visit to the Mini factory in Oxford, he is expected to say: "We know that the economy is turning a corner; GDP figures last week showed the third consecutive quarter of growth and we know we have record levels of employment.
"But we cannot for one moment be complacent. I'm determined we finish the job we started."
Mr Cameron will tell trainees at the plant that the reforms will make a "massive difference" to the lives of thousands of young people by ensuring UK companies provide "the best apprenticeships in the world".
Prime Minister David Cameron will unveil a new generation of apprenticeships designed to drive down youth unemployment and make vocational training an attractive choice.
During a visit to the Mini factory in Oxford later today where he will meet motor industry apprentices, Mr Cameron was also announce 100,000 vocational training schemes for young people over the next two years, modelled on successful programmes run by the Prince's Trust.