Morrisons is to reveal that 5,500 of its staff have signed up to a state-funded apprentice scheme in a boost to the Government’s push to promote training in the UK.

The move, to mark the launch of Apprenticeships Week, comes amid Government claims that more than 60% of employers plan to recruit new staff this year.

The Government has set a target that one in five young people should be taken on as an apprentice by 2020. It is offering employers grants of £2,500 for each 16 or 17 year old apprentice they hire, up to a total investment of £12.5m.

DIY retailer B&Q gave the scheme a further boost with plans to double its apprentice intake this year to 300.