MP Edward Timpson is calling for more businesses in Nantwich and Crewe to take on an apprentice.

It comes as new figures show 1,340 people started an apprenticeship in the towns last year, boosting the economy by £2.6 million.

According to latest statistics, each time a local company hires an apprentice it boosts their bottom line by £1,941.

This includes the apprentice being trained, and represents the benefit after typical wage and training costs for the North West are deducted.

The crucial role apprentices play was also emphasised at an awards ceremony at Reaseheath College in Nantwich.

The event saw 180 apprentices gain their qualifications at the college in the past year.

Reaseheath trains over 450 apprentices who work in businesses throughout Cheshire and surrounding counties.

Most attend college weekly and spend the rest of the week earning and training in the workplace.

The scheme is supported by 226 employers including councils, golf clubs, garden maintenance companies, kennels, pet shops, livery stables, florists, farms and the food, construction and timber industries.

Reaseheath Vice Principal Dave Kynaston said apprentices help to boost productivity and ensure the future of the UK’s skilled workforce.

He emphasised that apprenticeships had gained favour with both employers and the government and that recruitment was at an all time high, with 850,000 apprentices in the UK.

Mr Timpson said: “More apprenticeships mean more opportunities for young people, giving them financial security and our area a better future.

“By giving young people a chance, Crewe and Nantwich businesses will be boosting their bottom line. The benefit here of £2.6m has made a real difference to the local economy, and that’s just from apprentices who began last year.

“Apprenticeship numbers have now doubled, with the government making it a key priority. It’s great news for each local apprentice, great for our businesses and great for growth.”

Surveys show 60% of small businesses are missing out because they don’t know enough about how apprenticeships work.

Jane Scott Paul, chief executive of AAT which carried out the research, said: “I am delighted Edward Timpson is encouraging more companies to employ an apprentice. Far from being a cost, apprentices bring benefits straight away.”

Agriculture apprentice of the year Adam Brown

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