The British Army has been named the best apprenticeship employer in the country.
The new Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers rankings were announced on Wednesday, made up of employers from across the public and private sector, as well as charities.
The Royal Navy and Royal Air Force also made it into the top 10, with the Navy ranked third and the Air Force tenth.
Other employers in the top 10 include HMRC, which came second, and BT and MTR Elizabeth Line which were placed 4th and 5th respectively.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "Now more than ever we should celebrate businesses who are driving our efforts to build a stronger, fairer, and more competitive economy.
"High-quality apprenticeships give people from all backgrounds and ages a real choice in life, providing them with the skills employers value, which our economy needs, and which lead to better-paid jobs."
In the year 2019-20, more than 8,000 apprentices gained new skills with the Army.
Almost a fifth of its workforce completed apprenticeship programmes as part of their military training – in areas including engineering, telecommunications, logistics, construction, health and IT, the Army said.
Each apprenticeship is closely related to a soldier’s Army role whilst also working towards a qualification that is also acknowledged by civilian employers.
The Army now offers degree apprenticeships, which on completion, accredit the apprentice with a BA (Hons) in Business Leadership and Management.
Lieutenant General Tyrone Urch, the Army’s Apprentice Champion, said: "I am absolutely delighted that the British Army has been named as the Top Apprentice Employer of the Year 2020.
"The Army is the largest employer-provider of apprenticeships in the country, with more than 14,000 employees on an apprenticeship scheme at any one time.
"Apprenticeships provide a fantastic opportunity for our people to underpin their professional skills with widely recognised qualifications; this award underpins the British Army’s commitment to the education and training of our people and reflects the dedication of those who undertake our apprenticeships."
The new rankings were independently developed, assessed, and compiled in partnership with High Fliers Research.
Cover image: British Army.