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.
Young people struggling to find work in the UK are being offered the opportunity to take up "all inclusive" apprenticeships in Germany.
The scheme – promoted by a board member of the German-British Chamber of Industry and Commerce – is being run by International Business Academy (IBA).
IBA’s website offers a "Germany all inclusive” package and states that the offer is being funded by the German government and the German trade and industry “for approximately three years”.
The package includes pay of nearly £700 a month after tax, 170 hours of free language lessons, relocation costs, two expenses-paid visits a year home, plus training at one of Germany’s vocational schools according to the Daily Mail.
Apprenticeship opportunities in the UK need to be challenged further, the Prime Minister has said.
David Cameron, who will be visiting a training academy today, said standards need to be raised, making apprenticeships more "responsive to the needs of employers."
But we need to challenge ourselves to go even further, that is why I want it to be the new norm for young people to either go to university or into an apprenticeship. We need to look at how we can expand apprenticeship opportunities so that they are available to all young people who are ready and eager to take them up, and aspire to get ahead in life.
The Prime Minister said: "Giving young people the chance to learn a trade, to build their careers, and create a truly world-class, high-skilled workforce that can compete and thrive in the fierce global race we are in."
Barclays is to double the number of apprentices this year to 2,000 and offer help to other companies to take on young people.
The bank is offering a package of free support to businesses in England it said would help thousands of youngsters into work.
Barclays said the announcement, to mark National Apprenticeship Week, will lead to long-term unemployed youngsters with little or no qualifications, being given the chance of a permanent job at the bank.
Ashok Vaswani, chief executive of Barclays Retail and Business Banking, said: "We've seen first-hand how our apprentices are incredibly productive and valued members of staff, which is why we are now doubling our recruitment to 2,000."