Apprenticeships are attracting a huge amounts of interest from across the political spectrum. We've come a long way from the days when Tony Blair is said to have joked that political interest in vocational education was such that he could make a declaration of war in a speech about skills and no-one would ever notice.
Apprenticeships have rightly come to be seen as a desirable alternative to higher education for many young people, especially since the rise in tuition fees to £9000 per year. The current situation of rewarding men more than women sends a damaging signal that women's work is less useful. Sectors that offer apprenticeships should be urgently looking to remedy this.
Surely it is time to change things, time to offer a future to those young women who tell me they simply want a job, whose talents are being wasted by society and who are forced to rely on benefits when they could be contributing so much more to the economy?
I imagine for some of you the decision of what happens next will have already been made, university places accepted and bags waiting to be packed. But for others, this decision will not be so clear, and if this is you, it's really important to look at all of the opportunities on offer.
It should read something like: despite working harder and being more successful at school and university women continue to lose out in the workplace. The gender pay gap remains, women are much more likely than men to be stuck in a narrow range of jobs many of which are low paid...
Entrepreneurs have played an important role in the UK's economic recovery and we are key to its continued economic success. Please ensure we are able to pay ourselves more than we shell out in taxes - if you do, I am sure that the country will prosper alongside us.
This budget provides evidence not only of George Osborn's determination to transform the UK's high tax, high welfare economy into a more prosperous low tax, low welfare dependence one, but also of the real possibility that if we stick to a combination of push and pull policies, this once considered impossible outcome, can be achieved.
For many years vocational education has been stigmatised as only suitable for the 'less bright', and for those that needed to prepare for a specific trade. This is because vocational education directly develops expertise in techniques related to technology, skill and scientific technique to span all aspects of the trade
Having weekly meetings in which I had to present my work and ideas for moving forwards has greatly developed my confidence in giving presentations and developing my ideas in the work place. This practice has helped me significantly at conferences and other scientific events.
Savvy businesses are beginning to understand that well structured apprenticeships don't just help young people to get on the career ladder - they actually offer an immediate financial return on the business' investment
The current shortage of trained engineers creates a challenge for the future of UK engineering, with uncertainty for businesses that need engineering talent to deliver on new projects and grow profits. I urge the politicians not to forget about the 'march of the makers' as they run for the ballots.
The idea that science is better suited to males is not only unfair and outdated, but could potentially damage the future of our energy supply. We need the skills of both male and females to be able to make the breakthroughs necessary to deliver affordable energy sustainably, meaning a diverse workforce is key.
It is a sad indictment of a society that has created a situation which means our young cannot afford to live in the city that they were born in. As someone who had to leave their own country to get work, I am loathe to see my own children forced to live far away.
Employers must be aware of the variety of skills and talent that is available to them. If the gap between promoting apprenticeships in schools and raising awareness among employers is bridged, the number of new apprenticeships could increase significantly.
These are complex problems that won't be fixed overnight but they can be addressed; just as long as we take gender into account. To do otherwise means that any attempts will continue to fail, and to fail young women.
There's nothing wrong with the concept of gaining practical skills alongside academic study, but that's what 'sandwich year' university programmes already offer. Is it truly an apprenticeship, then, or is it simply re-packaged?