HUNDREDS of teenagers could be offered apprenticeships thanks to Kirklees Council.
The local authority has vowed to boost the number of 16-18 year-olds involved in apprenticeships by developing links with more than 200 local firms.
Figures reveal Kirklees’ growth has lagged behind the rest of the region in terms of take up for Higher Level apprenticeships for 16 to 18-year-olds – a 4.7% increase, compared with the 17.8% regional average.
In a report for the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Panel for Development and Environment, the council suggests eligible businesses could be given a £1,500 incentive to take on young workers.
The report says the council wants to be recognised as being at the forefront of good practice for delivering apprenticeships by 2014.
A network of local champions will be drawn up from both employers and former apprentices to promote the move, which the council hopes will boost take-up, particularly for small to medium sized firms and social enterprises.
A survey of 1,400 businesses has already been completed, which has identified skills gaps by sector.
The report also says funds may be directed towards a specific apprenticeship campaign and in conjunction with a restructure of its investment and regeneration department it could launch a “one stop shop” for local businesses.