COMPANIES in Halesowen and Rowley Regis are being urged to take on apprentices after new figures revealed the constituency got a £2.3million because of them last year.

The Association of Accounting Technicians study demonstrated 1,060 people who started an apprenticeship in Halesowen and Rowley Regis in 2012/13 boosted their employer’s bottom line by an average of £2,207 on top of the cost of wages and training.

James Morris, who is training an apprentice in his Halesowen office, called on local businesses to take advantage of Government support for employers who train young apprentices – worth up to £1,500 per apprentice for small firms.

He said: "Increasing numbers of apprenticeships are delivering a boost for local businesses and giving young people in the area great opportunities to build fantastic careers."

The MP is organising the second Halesowen and Rowley Regis Apprenticeship and Careers Fair on Tuesday, April 15 at St Michael’s School in Rowley.

He said: "“I hope that more employers will see the tremendous benefits of training an apprentice and will take advantage of the Apprenticeship Fair that I am organising in April to come face-to-face with local people who are looking for those opportunities.

“The £2.3million benefit delivered in Halesowen & Rowley Regis is making a real difference to our local economy – and that’s just from apprentices who began last year."

He added: “That’s great news for our local apprentices, great for local businesses and great for local growth.”

Last year's event was launched by Skills Minister Matthew Hancock and saw more than 30 companies and colleges showcasing the apprenticeship and training opportunities available for young people in the area.

Apprenticeship opportunities are available in all parts of the economy, ranging from advanced manufacturing and engineering to retail, business administration and accounting.