The Deputy Prime Minister has announced the creation of 300 skills jobs at Leeds, which will be based at a new £1m customer support centre.

The new positions are thanks to French motorway operator Sanef.

Sanef's 28,000 sq ft centre at St John's Centre in Leeds will manage a new payment arrangement being introduced from October 2014, which is designed to improve journeys and reduce congestion at the Dartford Crossing.

Instead of stopping at payment booths it will give drivers more flexibility about how and when they pay the charge.

Clegg also revealed that the figure pushes the total job creation by Leeds and Partners, the organisation responsible for driving foreign direct investment in Leeds and the wider city region to over 1,000 for an 18 month period.

"Leeds City Region has the people, the know-how and ideas to help your businesses to get ahead," said Clegg.

"As a result this region is playing a powerful part in the securing the UK's recovery. Across Yorkshire, growth is rising and unemployment is falling.

"There are now more people in work in Yorkshire and the Humber than ever before and more young people are starting apprenticeships."

The Leeds based positions will consist of administrative, payment processing, account management, enquiry handling and enforcement management services, including new account registrations.

Sanef has also made a long-term commitment to the apprenticeships programme with the immediate creation of over 10 apprenticeship posts as it partners with Learn Direct to broaden the talent pool to source school leavers which is a unique initiative in this sector.

Councillor Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council, added: "Job creation is crucial for sustainable economic growth and we have high aspirations in this area, particularly when getting our young people off to a flying start.

"What a great win for Leeds alongside the momentous occasion that is the Tour De France."