Apprenticeships are considered to be as
important as higher education in enabling the UK economy to compete
internationally. In 2009-10 there was a total of just under 500,000
apprentices, with more than 279,000 apprenticeship starts in that
year, an increase of over 16% on the previous year. The UK
government is committed to seeing these numbers increase further
and is working with employers, colleges and the NUS to deliver a
first class level of service and support to apprentices.