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.
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