A Surrey County Council drive to fill 500 apprentice places in a year has powered up to the halfway mark.
The news was confirmed as Youth Work Week got into full swing to highlight the importance of giving young people the right skills for a successful career.
Leader David Hodge unveiled Surrey’s scheme offering businesses a cash incentive to hire apprentices following the success of a campaign launched last year to fill 265 places.
Already more than 220 employers have been handed the £750 grant to hire a teenage apprentice with another 25 pledging to take one on.
Boosting young people’s job prospects forms part of the council’s big push to promote economic growth that has also seen the number of young people in Surrey not in education, employment or training – so-called NEETs – cut by more than half.
Mr Hodge said: “It’s great news that we’ve already helped another 220 teenagers into the world of work after our last scheme saw employers rise to the challenge of giving 265 young people the opportunity to earn and learn on the job.
“Apprenticeships put young people on the path to a successful career, give businesses the skilled workforce they need to thrive and help the economy grow, which is why we’re pulling out all the stops to reach our target of 500 by next April.”
Youth Work Week is a national campaign run by the National Youth Agency. This year’s theme is Building Skills for Employability.