Being an apprentice used to mean you were working at and learning a trade skill. Not running around in a big black Chrysler SUV, suited and booted and issuing orders down a mobile angled horizontally at your lips!It was, and still is of course, a fully approved and accredited course of rigorous training in a predominantly, but not exclusively, hands-on building industry occupation such as plumbing, electrical, gas and carpentry installations, maintenance and repair.In a recent poll conducted on behalf of Government, 80 per cent of employers felt that apprentices made them more competitive and reduced staff turnover.

And is the reason why the government is supporting a scheme looking to increase the number of apprentices and bridge skills gaps within industry. Despite current economic conditions, companies are encouraged to seriously consider the long-term implications of cutting out on the practice of enrolling new apprentices.

An advertising campaign is to follow a government announcement of its commitment to support an additional 35,000 apprentices into the marketplace next year.