Apprentices will increase significantly next year as the government has pledged to fund an additional 35,000 during 2010.

Some £140 million will be invested to deliver on the promise which will see employees trained in both the public and private sectors.

Skills secretary, John Denham, has highlighted the importance of training people and giving them the skills they need to retain jobs.

Mr Denham said: "This is an important initiative and is a further signal of our determination to give people the chance to get the practical training they need to get on and to help ensure the country has the skilled workers it needs to benefit from the upturn."

Ed Balls, children, schools and families secretary, said that for many apprenticeships and training provided "an ideal pathway to successful employment".

Despite the economic downturn, Marriott is set to run its graduate management training programme again this year.