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Apprenticeships at the 'heart' of Government mission

Apprenticeships are at the "heart" of the Government's mission to rebuild the economy, David Cameron has said.

Mr Cameron will visit a Buckinghamshire training academy today Credit: Christopher Furlong/PA Wire

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."

Today Mr Cameron will visit a Buckinghamshire training academy to mark the start of National Apprenticeship Week.

Cameron wants UK to follow Germany's lead on apprenticeships

The Prime Minister is expected to pledge today that it should be the "new norm" for school leavers to take an apprenticeship or go to university.

David Cameron wants the UK to follow Germany's lead on work-based training, sitting alongside higher education as the automatic options considered by school leavers.

A formal response to the Richard Review will take place later this week Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

On a visit to a Buckinghamshire training academy to mark the start of National Apprenticeship Week, Mr Cameron will call for more apprenticeship opportunities for young people.

A formal response to the Richard Review, which has looked at ways to improve the quality of apprenticeships, will take place later this week.

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Barclays 'to double the number of apprentices' this year

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' recruitment drive could help place around 2,000 young people into work. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

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."

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