Following record growth the previous year, the number of apprentices starting jobs in Rochdale has grown at almost 3 times the Greater Manchester (GM) average, despite national uncertainty over training provider and college contracts.
Only 5 GM local authorities recorded a growth in figures between August 2015 and July 2016, with Rochdale's new apprentices increasing by 1.1% to 2,660.
Figures across the region varied substantially, with Salford, Trafford and Manchester recording significant reductions in new apprentices, resulting in a Greater Manchester average growth of only 0.4%.
'We have continued to show excellent comparative growth'
Councillor Richard Farnell, leader of Rochdale Borough Council and cabinet member for regeneration, said: "Last year Rochdale saw the largest percentage increase in apprenticeship starts in Greater Manchester at over 20%, and despite extremely challenging national conditions we have continued to show excellent comparative growth.
"Apprenticeships will be further boosted by the regeneration of Rochdale's town centre this year, which takes a major step forward with the start of the Rochdale Riverside scheme, bringing in 1,000 permanent jobs to the area."