A raft of new measures designed to help employers to recruit an apprentice has been welcomed by a senior Bradford politician who is urging more companies to get young people on board.

The National Apprenticeship Service has created the measures to help guide Bradford employers and local Apprenticeship partners through the process of recruiting an apprentice.

The first major boost to local businesses is the announcement that the £1,500 Apprenticeship Grant for Employers has been extended for 16 to 24-year-olds for another year.

The grant is designed to help businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees to recruit apprentices and has so far enabled more than 30,000 young people to start an Apprenticeship between February 2012 and April this year.

Another significant development is the launch of the new ‘Av Live’ feed – an online tool that allows colleges, training providers and other Apprenticeship partners in Bradford to publicise up-to-the-minute Apprenticeship vacancies on their websites.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council’s executive member for employment, said that she welcomed any initiative which encouraged more opportunities for apprentices within the district. “In Bradford we are supplementing national schemes such as this with our own investment,” she said.

“Up to 23 per cent of the Bradford population is under the age of 16 and therefore we have to work hard to create jobs at a faster rate than other cities. That’s why locally, working with Bradford College, we have now established the Bradford Apprenticeship Training Agency targeting small businesses, those employing less than ten, to encourage them to create apprenticeships too.

“There are some great employers in Bradford who are really investing in their Apprentices, providing them with first-class training and impressive opportunities for career development. I’d just like to see more of these opportunities so that our young people can use their skills and contribute to the local economy.”

For more information on apprentice opportunities, e-mail info@atabradford.co.uk.