CRAVEN College is celebrating after being named top in the country for apprenticeship training.

The college was ranked first out of all general further education colleges by the Skills Funding Agency.

Judged on 60 different aspects, including employment, qualifications, achievements and attendance, it was judged to be the most successful of all FE colleges.

It achieved a success rate of 90 per cent, against the national average of 68 per cent, and achieved the top spot after spending the past two years in the top ten.

"The secret to our success is paying close attention to the needs of individual learners and a highly skilled team of apprenticeship co-ordinators, tutors and assessors," said Richard Swires, apprenticeship manager.

"These success rates are a credit to the hard work that all staff put into ensuring each candidate reaches their potential."

The college has around 700 apprentices across 30 apprenticeship frameworks and all have employment, many in small to medium-sized businesses both in the Craven and further afield.

They range from agriculture and engineering to accounting and IT networking and are driven by local employer demand.

Apprenticeships offer young people an outstanding opportunity to achieve nationally recognised qualifications while working for a company and earning money and increasingly young people are seeing it as an alternative to university.

Robert Bellfield, college principal, said the contribution apprenticeships made was good for the economy and for businesses and good for developing the skills and qualifications of the young people who choose the employment option after Year 11 or later. ]

"We are very proud of the hard work and commitment made by employers, trainers, teachers and most of all the students who take part in the Apprenticeship scheme at Craven College," he said.

The college is holding an open event on Wednesday from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.