THE NUMBER of young people starting apprenticeships in Hounslow has risen by over a third, new figures reveal.
More than 1,730 people across the borough began on-the-job training during the last academic year, up 33.8 per cent from 2010/11, according to statistics from government-funded body the Data Service.
That is nearly three times the national increase in new apprenticeships, of 13.9 per cent.
Business secretary Vince Cable said there was still a lack of trained workers in the UK but these figures showed it was beginning to 'turn the tide'.
Stephen Fry, chief executive of Hounslow Chamber of Commerce, said he was 'delighted' businesses had taken up the challenge of providing more apprenticeships.
He added that the chamber was working with West Thames College, in Isleworth, to set up an apprenticeship scheme for the logistics sector, which could help young people find employment at Heathrow.
Feltham & Heston MP Seema Malhotra welcomed the rise in new apprenticeships but said the figures did not tell the whole story.
"There are more young people out of work in Hounslow than there was six months ago, unemployment has risen in the borough to nearly 5,000 and last year we saw a 57 per cent increase in people who could not find work for over 12 months," she added.
"We need a change of course on the economy, with a real jobs guarantee for all young people out of work for over a year, as well as boosting apprenticeship numbers further through public procurement and government contracts."
Government funding of up to £1,500 is available to help companies take on apprentices.
Nearly 14,000 openings across London were advertised last year on the National Apprenticeship Service Apprenticeship Vacancies Database, at apprenticeships.org.uk.