I am immensely proud that we have managed to persuade policy makers of the benefits of measures such as this one announced in Thursday's Autumn Statement, benefits for young people, businesses, the Treasury and society at large.
Proposals in Chancellor George Osborne's autumn statement mean big changes in further education, at a time when the sector is already dealing with significant and complicated reforms. But this autumn statement moves the focus away from colleges and training providers and on to businesses and their responsibilities to our nation's young people and apprentices.
From helping my mum around the house since I was small, to fixing my own bike, I've always had a passion for understanding how things work and helping out, so I knew that I had to find a job that would be hands-on. But I didn't know how to get there..
As the drive to meet industry skills gaps present today gathers pace we must not forget, as industry leaders, that our young people are looking towards futures in their chosen fields that will far exceed our own, and must therefore be appropriately skilled not just for today but for tomorrow's business landscape too.
Having been an apprentice, I am now very aware that there are a considerable amount of people out there with a negative view of Apprenticeships - whether that is through a bad experience or through just hearing the ever-changing Chinese whispers that get thrown around regarding Apprenticeships. Trust me, the Apprenticeship experience is simply only a positive one.
Where we were only meant to have a short amount of time the Deputy Prime Minister stayed much longer really wanting to understand what we were saying and understand more about the Brathay Apprentice Challenge and our own experiences of community projects...
Apprenticeships are not just about the education you receive via a training organisation, or the work experience through your job, but also about developing life skills. Being involved in community projects is a great way to develop these life skills and that is why we are highlighting this to the Deputy Prime Minister.
It is vital to nurture the skills of our up and coming talent to maintain our world-class reputation in the arts. The arts industry must stamp out this practice to afford opportunities for the brightest and best young people and to invest in the skills of the next generation.
While it is encouraging that initiatives such as Tomorrow's Engineers Week and various new government policies are starting to address these issues - a lot of the problem goes much deeper - into perceptions of engineering and the modern reality of our industry.
Startling research released to mark the start of Tomorrow's Engineers Week should be a wake up call to employers, educators and the engineering industry to encourage more young people into engineering careers. Everyone who is passionate about apprenticeships, the future of our economy and young people's careers should be concerned that our school children may be rejecting engineering as a career choice because they don't know enough about it. Girls in particular aren't attracted to engineering as a career option.
I've said time and time again, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, that we need to change the way we fund the country's apprenticeships if we are going to get anywhere with solving problems with unemployment and our skills gap.
The German Dual System and their more deeply established apprenticeship programmes reflect extremely poorly on the UK position. We have a journey to make and we are still a long way from reaching our destination.
Let's accept the fact; work experience has a pretty poor reputation. Normally the phrase is associated with one or two weeks for a young person sitting in an office doing basic clerical tasks such as photocopying and making the tea. This needn't and shouldn't be the case.
The government's Apprenticeship reforms have been designed to put employers in the driving seat, but in today's highly competitive economic climate, turning the dream of having the best apprentices in the world is not just the responsibility of employers and government.
What we need is relatively simple: businesses to recognise that those under 25 could become a talent pool that will help them grow but they have an active role to play in helping them understand and then develop the skills that are needed. It could start with offering work experience, a traineeship or apprenticeship. What's important is realising this interaction will inspire a young person about what their future could hold and directly influence their success. Especially for the one in six who grow up in families where neither parent is employed.
I am really passionate about getting entry-level training right within leading companies to build the future workforce. At Visa we took a different approach to many others, putting business needs first and thinking differently to a yearly graduate intake...