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Stand Up Be Counted: Apprenticeship Revolution

Unveiling a 10-year plan to rebuild Britain, the Labour leader told his party's annual conference previous governments had been "useless" at providing an alternative to further education.

Singling out one young apprentice, Elizabeth, who is training to become a car engineer, Mr Miliband described her as "one of the lucky few".

"Her school helped her get an apprenticeship but so many others don't," he told a packed arena in Manchester.

"But lots of the young people I meet say their school told them apprenticeships are rubbish."

Mr Miliband conceded boosting apprenticeship numbers would be an "absolutely huge undertaking" that would require a "massive national effort".

Latest figures show just 868,700 people train as apprentices every year, compared to the 2,340,275 who enrol at university.

"This will require young people to show the ambition to do well and to get on," Mr Miliband said.

"It's going to require schools to lead a dramatic change in education, providing new gold-standard technical qualifications.

"And it's going to need businesses and government to lead a revolution in apprenticeships."

Mr Miliband's announcement will be of interest to members of Sky's Stand Up Be Counted website, a new platform for 16-25-year-olds to speak out on issues that matter most to them.

Click here to visit the Stand Up Be Counted website.

One contributor, Gena Barrett, said schools should be more accommodating to students who do not want to study at university.

"At my school, if you didn't want to go to university, you didn't get any attention," she said in her video post.

"That meant some people forced themselves to go to university and then dropped out, or were left feeling discouraged with a lack of ambition.

"We can't keep being fed the idea that university is the be all and end all."

© Sky News, 2014