A campaign encouraging businesses in Calderdale to help create more than 1,000 apprenticeship opportunities, as part of a wider regional push, was launched by His Royal Highness The Duke of York.
He attended the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership Apprenticeship Challenge at a business conference for SMEs at the Royal Armouries in Leeds.
Heather-Campbell Firth, Manager of the Calderdale Apprenticeship Hub, spoke to businesses to raise awareness of the new free and independent service.
She said: “We are looking forward to supporting the businesses who expressed an interest in employing a young apprentice in Calderdale.
“If every small business in Calderdale was able to employ a young person, we could eradicate youth unemployment in the borough.”
Companies were urged to sign pledge cards showing the commitment to find out more about the challenge which aims to secure at least 1,000 SMEs offering apprenticeships from April 2014 to March 2015.
Businesses also found out about the free and independent advice available from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership Apprenticeship Hub Programme.
It has has recently launched across 10 local authority areas - including Calderdale - to make it easier for SMEs to recruit apprentices.