Chris Keates, General Secretary of teaching union the NASUWT:
"The NASUWT welcomes the fact that this announcement has not only opened up the important debate about the future of the qualifications system, it has the potential to address the scandal of over one million unemployed young people.
"Ed Miliband’s proposals are seeking to give greater status to vocational qualifications, which the Secretary of State has condemned as second-class."
Craig Bennett, campaigns director at Friends of the Earth:
"A tub-thumping speech, but where was the green bit?
"We need a one planet approach to compliment Ed Miliband’s one nation vision."
Sally Hunt, general secretary of the UCU (University and College Union):
"Politicians need to understand the value of education to society and the economy and must put forward a coherent programme of investment. Ed Miliband’s recognition of the role training must play in a recovery is encouraging and a welcome respite from government rhetoric about the apparent burden young people are to the country.
"Plans for more apprenticeships are to be welcomed, as is a commitment that unions, employers and colleges will work together. However, history tells us that handing huge sums of money over to business to improve education does not always produce the best results."
Graham Sharpe, spokesman at William Hill:
After his speech to conference, William Hill have cut their odds for Ed Miliband to lead Labour into the next general election from 4/11 to 2/9, and lengthened him from 2/1 to 3/1 to be out of the job by then. Ed’s speech was well received, he spoke well without notes and we expect him to keep his job at least until the next general election. William Hill now make Ed Miliband 10/11 favourite to be the next person to be prime minister.
Christine Berry, Head of Policy and Research at FairPensions:
"It’s good to see Ed Miliband still talking about the problems associated with short-termism in the City. We hope that Labour will now build on this by developing more detailed policies to help make the city more sustainable and accountable."
A Liberal Democrat spokesman:
"Ed Miliband’s political education didn’t take place at school in Primrose Hill but in the Treasury under Gordon Brown. He and Ed Balls were special advisers to Brown when they let the banks run amok and claimed to have abolished boom and bust.
In his speech to Labour party conference he attempted to airbrush out his and Labour’s record in power. On taxes, youth unemployment and taking on vested interests, Liberal Democrats in the coalition government are delivering where Labour failed.
"Labour plunged us into austerity. It is the Liberal Democrats who will get us out.
"Ed Miliband’s 'One Nation' theme is also a repeat of the theme of Nick Clegg’s spring 2012 conference speech: 'A one nation party seeing not what divides us – but what unites us.'
Brendan Barber, general secretary of the TUC (Trade Union Congress):
"Ed Miliband today spelled out a compelling vision of the new Britain we need to build, based on fairness and one nation social solidarity in place of inequality and division.
"This was an audacious performance by a confident leader preparing for the responsibilities of government."