Number of apprentices shows big rise

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The number of apprentices being taken on has risen by around a fifth in South Yorkshire, according to the National Apprenticeships Service.

Doncaster led the way with a 26 per cent increase in recruitment, followed by Barnsley, up 23 per cent, and Rotherham, where the number of apprentices has increased by almost 19 per cent.

By contrast, the growth in the number of apprentices in Sheffield was below two per cent, but companies in the city still recruited the most apprentices – 5,430, compared with 4,550 in Doncaster, 3,460 in Barnsley and 3,410 in Rotherham.

Anthony Knowles, head of employer accounts for the National Apprenticeship Service in Yorkshire and the Humber said: “Although Sheffield has experienced the lowest percentage growth in South Yorkshire, it has actually seen the highest number of apprenticeship starts. An impressive 5,430 starts in the last academic year also means that the city is actually one of the highest performing areas across the region as a whole.”

The number of new apprenticeships across Yorkshire and the Humber rose by 15 per cent while the number for the whole of England was up 14 per cent in 2012, compared with 2011.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: “It’s great news that apprenticeships have gone up by 15 per cent in Yorkshire and The Humber, to 64,200. Apprenticeships are vital in the Government’s drive to create a more highly-skilled workforce who are better able to compete in the global race.”