More than 600 apprentice vacancies are currently up for grabs by young jobseekers in Bradford, according to the National Apprenticeship Service.

And local employers have been urged by the Government to create more apprenticeships following a national 62 per cent leap in online applications.

The NAS says apprenticeships are growing in popularity among both local employers and young people, and its latest figures published today show a 21 per cent increase in online vacancies posted on the Apprenticeship Index website between August and October 2013. During that time, 290 vacancies appeared on the Index, against 240 at the same stage of 2012.

Ministers want more Bradford firms to take on apprentices to meet growing demand.

Local firms highlighted by NAS for offering apprenticeships includes BorgWarner Turbo Systems, which is offering skilled training opportunities at its Bradford plant after clinching a major order to supply Land Rover Jaguar’s new Midlands engine plant, and Morrisons, the Bradford-based supermarket group which runs the Morrisons Academy, offering apprenticeship schemes across its stores, manufacturing and logistics sites.

Also appearing in the recent top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list from NAS and City & Guilds was Bradford and Leeds law firm Gordons, which pioneered apprenticeships for local school-leavers to train as legal executives.

Ilkley-based construction services group NG Bailey and Bradford social housing provider Incommunities are also highlighted, along with Bradford interpreting and translating firmEnable2 CIC and graphic design company Matthew Brand Solutions.

There was a 59 per cent rise in apprentice applications across Yorkshire during the period as apprentice vacancies rose by 38 per cent.

The Index also shows that more women are applying for apprenticeships, with online application rising by more than half since last year.

Matthew Hancock, Skills and Enterprise Minister, said: “With each online position attracting an average of 12 applications, demand continues to outstrip supply and I would urge more employers to consider how they can take advantage of this available pool of talent and grow their business through apprenticeships.”