APPRENTICES helped boost Castle Point’s businesses by an estimated £1.4million last year.

New figures suggest when a company hires an apprentice it increases their turnover by an average of £2,000.

By that token, the 700 apprentices trained in the borough last year are thought to have earned the local economy more than £1million.

In response to the figures MP Rebecca Harris is urging all the borough’s businesses to take on more apprentices. At present it is estimate 60 per cent of small businesses in Castle Point are not doing so.

Mrs Harris said: “If they don’t have one already, every local business in Castle Point should consider employing an apprentice.

By giving young people a chance, local businesses can also seriously boost their own bottom line. The benefit here of £1.4m has made a real difference to the local economy, and that’s just from apprentices who began last year.”

The Government pays the training costs of students, aged 16-18, undertaking apprenticeships via Thundersley’s Seevic College and Canvey Skills Campus.

Apprentices spend four days a week at work and the fifth studying at college.

As well as helping their employers’ turnover, apprentices pay back into the system through tax and National Insurance contributions.

Seevic, in Kiln Road, Thundersley, and the Canvey Skills Campus, in Meppel Avenue, Canvey, are two of the biggest apprenticeship trainers in the region.

Seevic offers apprenticeships in fields including AAT accounting, beauty therapy, business administration, childcare, health and social care, marketing and pharmacy.

Every time organisations take on an apprentice they are thought to be about £2,000 better off, after wage and training costs.

Although the Association of Accounting Technicians survey suggested the number of apprentices in the borough was increasing, it also found two-thirds of small businesses were missing out as they did not know how apprenticeships worked.

Mrs Harris added: “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.”