One in five firms have former apprentices in senior management jobs, new research has shown.
The figure is almost half in construction companies, while the South West is the best region for ex-apprentices to reach a board-level position.
City & Guilds said manufacturing, engineering, agriculture and energy companies also employ above-average numbers of senior staff who started their careers as apprentices.
Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: " As we can see from this research, today's apprentice could be tomorrow's board director. Nearly every employer that takes on an apprentice reports benefits to their business."