The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is urging individuals to consider the merits of apprenticeships in the wake of exam results.
The learning body says that more than 130,000 businesses employ 250,000 apprentices in England alone and claim that enrolling in an apprenticeship scheme can build a bright future for school leavers.
The LSC highlight several benefits including improved productivity, staff retention and competitiveness. For apprentices, the grounding gives them transferable skills leading to promotion further up the career ladder.
Stephen Gardner, director of apprenticeships at the LSC said: "Skills shortages remain a big issue within the UK, and individuals need to be attracted to industry if we are to remain competitive in the global economy. By training apprentices, employers can plan for future skills requirements ensuring that the skills critical to their companies success are not lost. Apprenticeships enable businesses to have the right people, with the right skills, at the right time."
Anyone aged over 16 is eligible to complete an apprenticeship, which provides a mixture of on and off-the-job training whilst being paid. Two levels of apprenticeship are offered: 'Apprenticeships' equivalent to GCSE level, incorporating a National Vocational Qualification to level two, key skills and in some cases a technical certificate and 'advanced apprenticeships', equivalent to A-levels, incorporating a National Vocational Qualification to level three, key skills and a technical certificate.