FIGURES show more young people are being signed up for apprenticeships.
The number of young people securing workplace training in the Calder Valley – which includes Brighouse, Elland and Rastrick – rose by 72%, from 570 in 2009/10 to 990 in 2010/11, according to the Department of Business Innovation and Skills.
Craig Whittaker, the MP for the area, said the apprenticeships were vital to get young people into work.
He said: “It is important that young people are provided with opportunities to obtain practical qualifications to enhance their life chances and therefore providing them with necessary skills required in the workplace.
“I am encouraged by the increase in the number of schemes being offered, and whilst I recognise that there is still work to be carried out, this is great news for the Calder Valley.”
The Calder Valley MP believes that whilst there is still work to be carried out to encourage more schemes, this is a step in the right direction.
It comes as the Government announced it was increasing its funding by £222m per year, meaning it is putting £1.4bn into the pot.
However, the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) revealed a north/south divide was emerging in the take-up of apprenticeship places.
Figures show that around 70% of apprenticeships were going to youngsters in the north, with young Londoners least likely to be on a training programme.
Jane Scott Paul, chief executive of AAT, said: “Whilst many won’t be surprised that apprenticeship take-up is more prevalent in the north, it is the difference between the two that causes alarm.
“One in five 16 to 24-year-olds in the UK are currently not in employment, education or training and this problem is one that won’t go away.”