Craven District Council has received £27,000 to support the creation of new apprenticeships in small to medium-sized businesses across the district.

The funding is through the council’s membership of the Leeds City Region, which has secured a total of £4.6m from the Government’s City Deal to run various initiatives to boost apprenticeships and generate 2,500 additional places by 2015.

A recent report suggested that a number of businesses within Leeds City Region were either unaware of the apprenticeship schemes available or felt the system was overly bureaucratic and costly.

Eight “Apprenticeship Hubs” and two new apprentice training agencies are being created in a bid to provide better information for businesses, young people and their parents.

Council leader Coun Chris Knowles-Fitton said: “Our economic development team will be speaking to businesses in the district to both inform and persuade them of the benefits of employing young people as apprentices.

“This is an investment with long lasting benefits that will help expand the number of opportunities for sustainable jobs.”