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Young people need to stop "drifting" into academia "which may not be suitable for them" and see apprenticeships as "just as good as pursuing a university route," Business Secretary Vince Cable told Good Morning Britain.
Plans to help young people get more out of their apprenticeships are unveiled today, with new employer-designed standards to ensure they get the training they need.
A range of new "world class" apprenticeships in sectors including hospitality and the legal profession will be announced today.
The 40 apprenticeships are based on new standards and assessment approaches, designed by employers.
Companies involved include Google, Sky and Price Waterhouse Coopers.
The Government hopes these reforms will make participants more employable, and give high-level apprenticeships the same status as university degrees.