The majority of employers believe that hiring apprentices provides a boost to productivity in the workplace.

That is according to a survey commissioned by the Learning and Skills Council, which revealed that some 92 per cent of employers said that apprenticeships created "greater employee motivation and job

The survey also revealed that a fifth of businesses were relying on apprentices to help them through the recession.

Commenting on the results of the survey, apprenticeships minister Lord Young said: "Today’s findings show just how well regarded Apprenticeships are by employers.

"They are rightly valued across Britain as a means of providing employers with a well trained workforce which help their business to succeed."

He added that apprenticeships were useful for businesses that were looking to invest in their future.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has confirmed that the Greater London Authority will be offering around 1,000 apprenticeships a year until 2012.

He explained that he was "confident" that London could weather the economic storm, but he said that it must maintain "training schemes so we have a skilled workforce for the future".