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.
More top news
Labour can make a collective decision on whether to back renewal of Britain's nuclear deterrent, the shadow defence secretary said.
The whale is reported to be alive and thrashing about in the shallow water as coastguards keep an eye on it in Mundesley, Norfolk.
The train crash in southern Germany is just the latest in a history of rail accidents in the country.