The Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will speak about the importance of training and apprenticeships at the Unite/Cogent conference later this week.
Sir Alex is known for his track record in developing young talent during his managerial career and now he is appealing to UK employers to do the same.
Commenting on his address to the Unite/Cogent conference in Manchester on November 4, Sir Alex said: ""Over a long period in our industry, apprenticeships have been neglected and that has to change.
"Great Britain was admired throughout the world for its ability to produce quality through the craftsmanship of its workforce and now is the time to bring about a regeneration of those times.
"Apprenticeships offer that opportunity for business to build from within their own confines and create an atmosphere of loyalty and continuity."
Unite assistant general secretary for manufacturing, Tony Burke, who will also be speaking at the event, says: "Unite believes that even in this grim economic climate manufacturing and science- based companies need to invest in the future through ensuring they take on apprentices, and upskill and train their workforce.
"Apprenticeships today will translate into the skilled workforce of tomorrow. That should be our goal for the future viability of British manufacturing and our science based industries."
Cogent is the sector skills council that covers chemicals, pharmaceuticals, oil, gas and nuclear energy.