The Conservative Party would offer financial bonuses to employers who take on apprentices, it has been announced.

Under new plans designed to boost the number of apprenticeship places on offer for young people, the Tories said they would give employers £2,000 per apprentice trained.

Conservative leader David Cameron said the proposals would help to create an extra 100,000 apprenticeships, which he claims are essential for boosting skill levels.

A Tory government would also cut red tape on smaller employers and make it easier for them to take on and train unskilled workers, he added.

The British Chambers of Commerce has welcomed the proposals.

Its director general David Frost told the Guardian: "We strongly believe that an increase in the number of apprenticeships will ease future skill shortages and provide a respected alternative education and training route for young adults."

Last week, the government said all qualified school leavers would be entitled to an apprenticeship place from 2013.