NEW figures have shown 1,060 people started apprenticeships in Redcar and Cleveland in the last six months.
Redcar MP Ian Swales has welcomed the figures for the period between August 2011 and January 2012.
The new starts come on top of record numbers of apprentices in the region last year - 1,860 were on an apprenticeship in 2010/2011, representing an increase of 92% on the previous year.
Mr Swales said the SSI steel plant in Redcar, Peterson Engineering in Dormanstown and the ongoing investment into the Wilton site have all contributed to these opportunities.
The Regional Growth Fund, which has already brought £157m of investment to the North-east, had also played a significant role in supporting this increase, he added.
“These figures are fantastic news,” he said.
“I have pressed hard and will continue to press for more apprenticeship places in Redcar and Cleveland.
“Getting our young people into work and learning skills are top priorities for me. I am pleased that the Liberal Democrats have helped to make the provision of new apprenticeships a priority for the coalition Government.
“They provide a practical alternative to university for young people who want to gain nationally recognised qualifications whilst earning money in the workplace.
“Apprenticeships give people a great start in life, and an opportunity to really find out what they enjoy doing.
“ I hope that we see these figures continue to increase.”
The figures for the period from August 2011 to January 2012 are based on data from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
They are provisional and provide an early view of the number of apprentices for the academic year 2011/12.