3,000 apprenticeships announced for West Midlands
Three thousand apprenticeships could be created in three years across the West Midlands.
Birmingham's Chamber of Trade and Metropolitan College are joining forces, along with businesses further afield, to place young people in jobs.
Samsung, BSkyB, BMW, Dixons Retail, E.On and Cadbury are among the firms supporting the scheme.
It was announced by David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, at the Conservative Party Conference.
'Badge of honour'
He told the conference, held at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham, that apprenticeships should be seen as a "badge of honour".
"So I can announce today that apprentices in key sectors will be officially awarded the title technician - a badge of honour, just like graduating from university," he said.
The apprenticeships will be offered across the West Midlands in Birmingham, Solihull, Burton-upon-Trent, Lichfield and Tamworth.
A college spokesman said it was being supported by some of the Midlands' largest companies.
He added that a number of apprentices had gone onto degree programmes and were "enjoying well paid careers".