Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has thrown his weight behind Surrey County Council’s apprenticeship drive.
The Runnymede and Weybridge MP praised the authority for “selling the virtues of apprenticeships”.
Last year Surrey County Council incentivised businesses to hire more than 260 apprentices and is aiming to achieve a further 500 by next April.
His video message was delivered at an event at Foxhills Hotel and Resort, Ottershaw, organised by the county council to encourage more businesses to hire young people.
It was the last in a county-wide series ahead of the Surrey Opportunities Fair on 8 October at Epsom Racecourse. The fair will give young people the opportunity to find out about jobs, training and college courses. More information can be found at www.surreycc.gov.uk/opportunitiesfair.
Surrey Deputy Leader Peter Martin attended alongside representatives of the Federation of Small Businesses.
Mr Martin said: “Apprenticeships provide young people with skills they need for a successful career, give businesses the workforce they require to thrive and help the economy grow. Tha is why we’re aiming to create another 500 by next April.
“I would urge all Surrey’s young people to make a date in their diary for the jobs fair. It will provide an invaluable opportunity for young people to meet and impress prospective employers or training organisations and see what opportunities are out there.”