Apprentices and trainees at Solihull College had the opportunity to meet Business Secretary Vince Cable when he stopped by the Blossomfield campus last week.
Solihull College has more than doubled the number of apprentices it trains since 2010.
In the 2009-10 academic year it provided bespoke training courses to 550 apprentices and hopes to train 1,500 this year – a record for the college.
Dr Cable has introduced measures to support apprenticeships, including £1,500 grants and covering up to 100 per cent of training costs.
He said: “A lot of young people aren’t ready for an apprenticeship, which involves a job, having some basic work experience and some English and maths.
“Sometimes young people need an entry route and traineeships provide that.”
John Callaghan, Solihull College principal and chief executive said: “We are really pleased with the success of apprenticeships and now we need to embrace traineeships. They provide a helpful and well-rounded experience for a school leaver on the personal and professional attributes people need to succeed in adult life.
“They are shorter in length than an apprenticeship and on successful completion young people should have the correct skills to progress to an apprenticeship.”