Businesses are failing to take advantage of apprentices because they do not realise how wide-ranging the schemes are, according to the Learning and Skills Council.
Stephen Gardner, director of apprenticeships at the organisation, noted that there are 180 different frameworks for on-the-job training of young people, in everything from accountancy and IT to media.
However, many employers tend to assume they are limited to manufacturing, construction and engineering, he said.
Mr Gardner suggested that this may be why only six per cent of companies offer apprenticeships, adding: "It's a bit of a mystery, considering all the benefits that apprenticeships can offer employers."
He also remarked that misplaced concerns about bureaucracy and red tape may play a part in discouraging employers from partaking in the scheme.
The Telegraph recently found that there were only 239,000 apprenticeship places last year, despite a government pledge that there would be 500,000 available.