New apprentices gave businesses in Cambridge a £1.2 million boost over the last year with each company being on average around £2,000 better off.
The news has been welcomed by Cambridge MP Julian Huppert, who has been visiting apprentices across the city as part of his monthly initiative, Celebrating Apprenticeships.
He urged more businesses to take on apprentices as national figures show the numbers have doubled.
“These businesses have seen financial rewards from giving young people a chance,” said Julian. “Apprenticeships are good news for the employee and the employer.
“The young person gets a chance to earn a wage while learning a new skill and getting a valuable first step on the job ladder; employers have the chance to train young people with specific skills needed for their businesses.
“We made apprenticeships a key priority for this government and they have doubled making a difference to our local economy.”
Last year alone 610 people started an apprenticeship in the city and after typical wage and training costs are deducted, each one brought a boost of £2,009 to the company.
This means that new apprentices alone provided a boost of around £1,225,000 in 2012/13 to the local economy and £1.8 billion across the UK.
Despite this a survey conducted on behalf of the Association of Accounting Technicians, which has pioneered apprenticeships in accounting, found that 60 per cent of small businesses were missing out because they don’t know enough about how apprenticeships work. Many assume that they are difficult to administer and will involve a short-term cost.
AAT Chief Executive Jane Scott Paul said: “I am delighted that Julian is encouraging more companies to employ an apprentice. Far from being a cost, apprentices bring benefits straight away.
“It’s really important that employers know there are apprenticeships for all shapes and sizes, including those in non-traditional sectors like accounting and law.”