HUNDREDS of businesses in Kirklees say that they are considering taking on apprentices in the near future.
They hope the trainees will plug skills gaps and increase productivity.
A total of 322 businesses indicated they would be interested in taking on apprentices, in the 2011 Kirklees Employers’ Survey.
In direct response to the increased interest in apprenticeships, the council is now inviting businesses from across the district to a special seminar next month.
The event will be part of National Apprenticeships Week, from February 6 to 10.
Organised by Kirklees Council in conjunction with the National Apprenticeship Service and West Yorkshire Learning Providers, the event will give employers the opportunity to find out more about the benefits that taking on apprentices bring to their business.
The breakfast event is taking place at the Galpharm Stadium from 8am to 9.30am on Tuesday, February 7.
One of the growing number of firms seeing real benefits from recruiting apprentices to their business is Rixonway Kitchens, of Dewsbury.
They currently have a number of apprentices in house and have created additional places to begin in April.
Chief executive Paul Rose said: “Having used apprentices in accountancy and administration positions, Rixonway are now supporting the expansion of the number of apprentices into other areas of the business.
“We understand the benefits that a skilled and accredited workforce brings and feel the investment we make in employing apprentices provides good value for money.
“It makes sense for us to consider creating other apprentice roles as we reap the benefits from increased productivity and improved customer service.”
Clr Peter McBride, Kirklees Councils’ lead cabinet member for regeneration and investment, said: “The event will help businesses find out more and hopefully consider creating apprenticeships within their own organisations.
“A further 250 local businesses have taken up apprenticeships and the Kirklees area has an ambition to be widely recognised as being at the forefront of good practice and delivery in apprenticeships.”