Premier Foods has committed to double its intake of apprenticeships, just as a group of MPs has spoken about the lack of teenagers in the overall schemes. 

The Commons Education Committee found in a report that, since 2010, there were 10,000 fewer teenagers in apprenticeships in 2013-14.

The committee strongly backed apprenticeship schemes, saying that only these offer substantial training with rising future earnings.

Alison Fuller, professor of vocational education and work at the Institute of Education in London, told the committee: “The rather stubborn figure that remains is that, at some point, about 6% of 16- to 19-year-olds will start a government supported apprenticeship.

“It is important to have that context; it is very small and it has not gone up. It remains a challenge to increase it.”

Amid this, food giant Premier Foods has said it will continue to double its intake of apprentices for the next two years.  

David Wilkinson, human resources director, Premier Foods, said: “Innovation is incredibly important to our future growth. We need to continue to bring new food products to the market every year. This depends on high-quality manufacturing technology and expertise.

“We find apprenticeships the best way to develop the engineering skills we need as they enable people to learn on the job, as well as studying for a valuable qualification.”

The company aims to have around 30 new apprentices by 2016, and took on 10 new apprentices in 2014. 

This also coincides with National Apprenticeship Week - designed to promote the value and range of schemes available.