OXFORD West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood has called for more businesses to take on apprentices.

She said that last year 600 people began an apprenticeship in her constituency meaning new apprentices gave a £1.29m boost to the area in 2012-13.

Ms Blackwood said: “If they don’t have one already, every business in Oxford West and Abingdon should consider employing an apprentice.

“By giving young people a chance, they will boost their bottom line. The benefit of almost £1.3m has made a real difference and that’s just from people who began last year.

“It’s great for each local apprentice, great for businesses and great for growth.”

Ms Blackwood said a study by the Association of Accounting Technicians shows that 60 per cent of small firms don’t know how apprenticeships work, assuming they are difficult and costly to run.