The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), which represents the training firms that train 75% of apprentices in England, says a lack of awareness is limiting the number of young people being offered Apprenticeship places after they complete their GCSEs.
Paul Warner, AELP's director of employment and skills commented: "2011 has undoubtedly been a challenging year for training providers in trying to encourage employers to take on more young people as apprentices.
"To help meet demand from young people, we want to see a renewed marketing push by the government's National Apprenticeship Service to target the thousands of employers who have never employed an apprentice and explain why it makes sound business sense for them to do so."
AELP welcomed the significant investment already ploughed into Apprenticeships by the government, with figures showing that 326,000 people started the programme in the first nine months of 2010-11.
However, the body pointed to the number of people aged over 25 starting Apprenticeships (121,000) being greater in that period than the number of 16-18 year olds (102,900), and 19-24 year olds (102,800) joining the programme.
This imbalance is thought to be the result of employers placing their existing workforce on to the programme, while the difficult economic climate makes it harder for them to take on new apprentices from younger age groups, according to AELP.