A COUNCIL is urging businesses across the county to consider taking on apprentices to fill vacancies.

Oxfordshire County Council is supporting National Apprentice Week, from February 1 to 5, by putting its weight behind events to promote the role of apprentices.

Kicking off the week is a business breakfast at Egrove Park in Kennington, on Tuesday, hosted by council leader Keith Mitchell and Richard Dick, the High Sheriff of Oxfordshire.

Mr Mitchell said: “The recession has greatly reduced the number of job opportunities for school leavers in our county and we are seeing a worrying increase in long-term unemployed young people. Apprenticeships are a wonderful way to give young people some paid work and invaluable experience.

“In February, the council will take on its 100th apprentice and we want to laud the benefits of these schemes.”

For details call 0845 602 9375 or email opportunities@connexionsoxfordshire.co.uk