Apprentices have proved their worth to small and medium-sized businesses across Kirklees over the last year.
One hundred and ninety youngsters were taken between September 2013 and September 2014 as part of the Kirklees Apprenticeships Hub.
It is designed to simplify the process of recruiting apprentices by flagging up the best funding methods and help to decide which candidates are best suited to them.
Ben Parker, 16, has been making waves at Robin Hood Watersports in Heckmondwike, joining their 28-strong staff earlier this year.
As a diving fan since birth, the opportunity for Ben to work for a company which manufactures and sells specialist equipment to businesses, the public and emergency services was ideal.
He said: “I really enjoy the apprenticeship, being hands-on and learning new things every day.
“I’m not the sort of person who wants to sit at a desk all day and this role gives me the opportunity to keep learning, and get a qualification, while finding out about everything that happens in each area of the business.”
Overall, 174 small and medium businesses took part in the scheme during 2013/14.
Robin Hood Watersports partner Sally Findlow said: “We decided that for our business, at this time, giving an opportunity to a young person and bringing skills into our business was vital.
“We were really pleased with the support on offer from the Kirklees Apprenticeship Hub and delighted with how everything has turned out.”
Businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees, who have not taken on an apprentice in the last year, could get a £1,500 grant as part of the scheme.
Call 01484 437075 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.