YORK MPs Hugh Bayley and Julian Sturdy visited apprentice hairdressers at York College in support of the York Apprenticeship Challenge.

Mr Bayley said apprenticeship starts have increased by more than ten per cent this year, following an 11 per cent increase last year.

He said: “Employers need staff with practical, on the job experience and York College is helping to provide that. They realise there are limits to what can be learnt in the classroom and apprenticeships give employers the best of both worlds – technical and business skills learnt in college together with experience of work.”

Mr Sturdy said: “Apprenticeships can stimulate activity in the jobs market and contribute to local economic growth. The flexible nature of apprenticeships provides individuals with a real practical taste of different industries and jobs, equipping them with increased experiences, skills and confidence. In difficult economic times, we should all be encouraged by the 100 in 100 initiative.”