Only five higher-level apprenticeships are currently available near Birmingham under a government-led scheme to get more youngsters into work, according to new figures.

Ministers announced last year employers had pledged 20,432 new apprenticeship positions as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

But analysis of positions available on the Government's 'Find an Apprenticeship' website showed only 331 were currently on offer within five miles of Birmingham.

And only five of those are at the 'higher' level - long-term apprenticeships that can offer degree-level qualifications as a vocational alternative to university.

One is being offered by the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust which is looking for a finance apprentice.

The position pays £230.63 a week during the training period which lasts between 18 months and two years.

Financial services firm BDO is seeking an audit apprentice at £308 a week while EC Harris wants a project management apprentice at £269.25 a week and again running between 18 and 24 months.

Commscare is advertising on the website for an IT apprentice field engineer, at £270 a week, while finance firm Baker Tilly want an audit apprentice on a 24-month scheme at £192 a week.

Of the other apprenticeships near Birmingham, 85 are at the advanced level (below higher) and 241 at the intermediate level. Those tend to be much shorter and pay much less.

By comparison, there are currently 481 apprenticeships within five miles of Manchester, with eight at the higher level.

Nationally, there are 17,207 apprenticeships listed at the website - with just 167 at the higher level.