STRETFORD and Urmston MP Kate Green has given her strong support to local businesses who take on an apprentice, after new research revealed the extent of the benefits involved.

Research commissioned by Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) has found that every time a company hires an apprentice, it gets an average boost of £1,941.

This happens immediately, while the apprentice is being trained, and represents the benefit after typical wage and training costs are deducted.

Last year, 1,150 young people and adult learners started an apprenticeship in Stretford and Urmston. That helped businesses by a total of £2.2m in 2012/13.

The number of apprentices has increased rapidly since the National Apprenticeship Service was created in 2009.

Despite this, surveys show that 60 per cent of small businesses are missing out because they don’t know enough about how apprenticeships work.

Ms Green said, “Apprenticeship starts increased massively after the creation of the National Apprenticeship Service by Labour in 2009.

“But with over 900,000 young people still out of work, the Government needs to do more to help firms in Trafford create the apprenticeship opportunities young people desperately need.”

The Chief Executive of AAT, Jane Scott Paul, said, “I am delighted that Kate is encouraging more companies to employ an apprentice.

“It’s really important that employers know there are apprenticeships for companies of all shapes and sizes, including those in non-traditional sectors like accounting and law.

“That’s how apprentices boosted UK firms by £1.8 billion last year.”