Apprentices from Mycroft Heating & Plumbing met Dr Vince Cable MP – Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills – on Monday (9 March), to mark the official launch of National Apprenticeship Week 2015.

Held at the London Eye and organised by the Skills Funding Agency, the event brought together politicians, existing apprentice employers and businesses interested in exploring the benefits of apprenticeships.

Mr Cable said: “In launching National Apprenticeship Week, we are celebrating the 2.1 million apprenticeship starts since 2010 and the positive impact they are having on businesses around the country.

“The benefits of apprenticeships are clear: they make a vital contribution to the economy, boost business productivity and give people the skills they need to get on in the world of work.”

Referring to recent research by Cebr that revealed many consumers would prefer to do business with companies employing apprentices, Mr Cable said: “As this research shows, there has been an important shift in the attitudes towards apprenticeships with businesses, consumers, and young people recognising the significant opportunities they can offer.”

Skills Minister Nick Boles added: “Apprenticeships deliver for employers by increasing business productivity while providing high-quality training. This week is a time to celebrate the employers, young people and adults from across the country that are making apprenticeships such a success.”

Of taking on apprentices, Mycroft Heating & Plumbing’s company director Tim Mycroft said: "For me, it's about finding someone that hasn't picked up any bad habits. My business is built on reputation so there's always a risk in taking someone on. But at trainee level they can see what you're doing and can start to develop your own habits."