Richmond MP Rishi Sunak is spearheading the new North Yorkshire Apprenticeships campaign with UCAS which could become a blueprint for the rest of the UK.
Working in partnership with local secondary schools, colleges, councils and employers, the campaign is being supported by UCAS to make it easy for businesses to advertise apprenticeships and for young people to find and apply for them.
Sunak has written to almost 1,000 businesses in his constituency urging them to consider recruiting an apprentice and will set an example by taking on a young person to work in his Northallerton office.
He said: “I want our young people to have great opportunities when they leave school. I also want our local businesses and organisations to have ready access to the best young talent.
“That’s why I persuaded UCAS to create this one-stop shop to bring the two together. The North Yorks Apprenticeships website makes it easy for businesses to find apprentices and makes it easy for young people to find them.
“This is a first for North Yorkshire. Nowhere else in the UK will have this facility. It is being watched closely and if we can make it a success, it could be replicated elsewhere.”
The project has been welcomed by business and skills minister Nick Boles who said in the commons that his department would monitor its progress and consider rolling it out to the rest of the UK.
North Yorkshire Apprenticeships, which will be formally launched next month, has the support of all local secondary schools and further education colleges including Darlington, York and Redcar and Cleveland.
The principal of Darlington College, Kate Roe, added: "We welcome every opportunity to encourage local employers and young people to gain access to apprenticeships. The benefits to both are enormous and an online portal for North Yorkshire is a great initiative."
The three local authorities covering the constituency, Hambleton and Richmondshire Districts and North Yorkshire County, and The York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership are also backing the project.