Anyone who knows me or has heard me speak will know I am passionate about apprenticeships and vocational education. That is why I am so pleased to hear from the Government today that more than half a million people started apprenticeships in the 2011/12 academic year.
502,500 people started an apprenticeship in the last year - up from 457,200 in 2010/11.
Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said breaking the half a million mark was a "momentous achievement" for the Government and it really is. I am very proud of the work this Government has put into apprenticeships.