Bradford-born TV presenter Christa Ackroyd has praised firms for still taking on apprentices during the recession.

She recalled her own days as an apprentice journalist when handing out awards to local firms.

Among the recipients was Bradford insurance company National Breakdown, which scooped the Outstanding Contribution to Apprenticeship award from Calderdale Training.

The company has continued to recruit and train apprentices despite the recession, giving them the chance to achieve nationally-recognised NVQ qualifications.

Ian Roper, managing director, said: “It is incredibly rewarding to have the hard work that we put into training and development recognised in this way. Despite the downturn, we remain forward thinking in our planning, and young apprentices have always made a valuable contribution to our firm.

“Our development, alongside Calderdale training, is offering invaluable opportunities to youngsters.”