Three out of this year's four Apprentice of the Year awards have gone to women, the first time that men have not taken the majority of the accolades.
In addition, two of the awards were in the traditionally male-dominated sectors of aerospace and engineering, the Times Education Supplement reports.
The top prize for Apprentice of the Year was taken by Claire Harrison, who complete an apprenticeship in 'team leading' at the North Lancs Training Group and now works for Dales Pharmaceuticals, where her leadership skills have led to a significant drop in absenteeism.
She told the newspaper: "My apprenticeship has made my confidence soar with the skills and knowledge I gained, I have helped the packing department improve budgets and efficiencies."
TV presenter Amanda Holden hosted the awards, which were attended by government ministers John Denham and David Lammy.
Earlier this week the government published draft legislation aimed at regulating apprenticeships and ensuring they are all of a high quality.