The number of people applying for apprenticeships in Kingston  increased by 50 per cent last year.

New figures released by the National Apprenticeship Service show demand for the earn-while-you-learn schemes was outstripping supply in the borough by six to one.

A total of 600 people applied for an apprenticeship in Kingston in 2013,  200 more than in 2012.

But the number of vacancies only increased by 11 per cent, to 100.

The figures have led the Government to call on more employers to create apprenticeship positions to meed demand.

Skills and enterprise minister Matthew Hancock said: "These figures show that apprenticeships are growing in appeal to young people, and yet more young women are seeking out this unique opportunity to earn while they learn and gain a recognised qualification while notching up vital work experience. 

"But with each online position attracting an average of 12 applications, demand continues to outstrip supply and I would urge more employers to consider how they can take advantage of this available pool of talent and grow their business through apprenticeships.”