Stroud MP Neil Carmichael is calling for more businesses in the district to take on an apprentice after a new study revealed the benefits of doing so.

Citing research produced for the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), the Conservative politician said every time a local company had hired an apprentice, its bottom line had got an average boost of £2,013.

Last year, 790 people started an apprenticeship in Stroud, meaning that new apprentices alone provided a boost to the local economy of around £1,590,000 in 2012/13.

Despite the number of apprentices increasing rapidly, surveys show that 60 per cent of small businesses are still missing out on the benefits because they do not know enough about how apprenticeships work.

Mr Carmichael said he had a long track record of encouraging apprenticeships to school leavers and businesses alike and had promoted local opportunities through his annual Festival of Manufacturing and Engineering.

“If they don’t have one already, every local business in Stroud should consider employing an apprentice,” he said.

“By giving young people a chance, they will also be boosting their bottom line. The benefit here of £1.6m has made a real difference to the local economy, and that’s just from apprentices who began last year.

“Apprenticeship numbers have now doubled, with the Government making it a key priority. It’s great news for each local apprentice, great for our businesses and great for growth.”