Sheffield has highest number of young people in apprenticeships out of all England’s core cities, according to new figures.
The Department of Education has placed the city top of the table in a run-down of under-25s employed as apprentices.
With 7.8 per cent of young people in work-based training roles, Sheffield is way ahead of second-placed Liverpool at 5.6 per cent and considerably higher than Leeds, where the figure is five per cent.
The data comes as Sheffield Council announces a reduction in the number of NEETs – 16 to 24 year olds not in employment, education or training.
Currently 6.5 per cent of young people fall into this category, the first time the figure has ever fallen below 7 per cent.
City bosses have put the success down to a number of schemes including the Apprentice Challenge, backed by The Star, which offered to part-subsidise employers for the wage of an apprentice and gave youngsters training to prepare them for the world of work.
The council also helped to design the new Skills Made Easy programme, which is aiming to create 400 extra apprenticeships in Sheffield.
Coun Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for business, said: “The council’s commitment to apprenticeships and related programmes is good for the business community - helping to deliver the right skills to grow our economy and attract future investment.
“This helps to provide a positive future for our young people.
“It represents real action on our priorities to be business-friendly and focus on jobs.
“This is a track record the city and its young people can be proud of.”
Coun Bramall has attacked Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg and coalition partners for suggesting the city was lagging behind others.
He said: “The opposition group should make a pledge to stop running Sheffield down and start standing up for it alongside the current administration.”