More apprentice employers have committed to increasing diversity and reaching under-represented groups.
It comes after the director of the National Apprenticeship Service, Sue Husband, said apprenticeship applicants from minority backgrounds are less likely to be picked than their white counterparts.
Companies such as Bombardier, BT, the Royal Air Force and Vets4Pets have all recently joined the Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network (ACDN), which aims to encourage more people from under-represented groups consider apprenticeships through schools visits and recruitment.
This including individuals with a learning difficulty or disability, from disadvantaged areas, from black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) communities as well as boosting the number of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Manufacturing (Stem) careers.
Chair of the Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network Helen Grant said it was crucial opportunities were made available to people of all backgrounds.
She added: “Each employer who joins our network is sending out a loud message to other employers and individuals about the transformative impact apprenticeships can have on business, engendering loyalty and delivering the bespoke skills required for their workforce.”
The apprenticeship programme lead at pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, Steven Stewart, said wanted the company to join the network as soon as he heard about it.
He added: “As someone who did not have a straightforward path to reach my current role, I am passionate about supporting people from diverse backgrounds and helping them succeed.”