New figures showing that the number of new apprenticeships in England increased by around two-thirds to almost half a million last year were welcomed by the Government today.
Growth took place at all levels of learning, for every age range across the whole country, said the Business Department.
The figures showed there were 457,200 apprenticeship starts in the 2010/11 academic year, an increase of 63.5% on the previous 12 months.
Skills Minister John Hayes said: "Clarity of policy, strength of commitment and certainty of purpose has delivered record numbers of apprenticeship starts, outstanding success rates and growth across all sectors.
"This success, mirrored in every English region, is putting businesses on stronger ground to deliver a more balanced economy. It is equipping young people with the skills that build prosperous careers, and forging communities in which the common good is served through creative endeavour and purposeful pride."