The West Midlands branch of the Engineering Employers Federation urged Ministers to review schools career services.
It followed warnings from the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs that many of those who could benefit from apprenticeships are failed by "wholly inadequate or non-existent" careers advice in schools.
Ministers said they were expanding the number of apprenticeships nationwide by 500,000.
An inquiry by peers found that staff in many schools knew little about vocational education, or had little interest in it.
Schools were also reluctant to involve themselves with training providers offering apprenticeships, the Peers found. In the West Midlands this includes the Engineering Employers Federation, which trains 80 engineering apprentices in the Birmingham and Solihull area through their Technology Centre in Tyseley, Birmingham.
Bill Nicholls, Director of Education and Training Development at EEF West Midlands, said: "This is a damning report on the status of apprenticeships in the UK.
"It suggests apprenticeships are treated as a second class route to employment, not least amongst career advisors."