WORCESTERSHIRE County Council is supporting National Apprenticeship Week being held next week.

The 11th national apprenticeship week is running from March 5-9 and celebrates the contribution of county apprentices to the workplaces, as well as the products and services they provide.

In 2017 Worcestershire saw 5,440 people start apprenticeships, an increase on last year and a faster increase than the national average.

The authority is reminding people that the organisation can offer apprenticeships at intermediary, advanced and higher levels in various areas including customer service, business administration, finance and accounting, social care, civil engineering highways, IT and digital development.

The council is also actively working to expand the types and levels of apprenticeship opportunities that are currently available.

Current council apprentice in civil engineering, Jared Witcomb, said: "From the first day of my apprenticeship I knew I had made the right decision and the mixture of practical and theoretical learning suits me perfectly.

"I'm enjoying gaining experience and developing my skills and have a great support network."

Marcus Hart, cabinet member with responsibility for education and skills, said: "Apprenticeships provide a clear path for young people from education to employment. We are proud to be playing a part in developing our workforce whilst providing opportunities for individuals in the wider community."

The authority is also hosting Worcestershire Skills Show on Wednesday, March 7 at Chateau Impney. It provides young people from years seven to 13 with a chance to meet with Worcestershire's largest employers from a variety of industries.

For information about current apprenticeship vacancies visit worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20434/apprenticeshipvacancies.