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Published 24 August 2018

West Dunbartonshire Council’s newest apprentices joined the team this week as part of a £1million investment.

The 24 new recruits arrived at the Council offices at Church Street for an induction before they were set to work or training in their various roles.

The group will take on jobs across Greenspace, Business Administration and Construction Crafts and are the first intake of Modern Apprentices since the investment fund was announced in March.

The scheme will see £250,000 spent on apprentices each year for the next four years, with a particular focus on school leavers.

Councillor Diane Docherty, Convener of Housing and Communities, said: “I’d like to extend a warm welcome to every one of our new apprentices.

“The Council has invested in these people as part of our commitment to building a strong local economy, while improving job opportunities for local people.

“These young people are the future of the Council and we wish them every success.”

Councillor Caroline McAllister, Vice Convener of Housing and Communities, added: “It was great to meet the apprentices on their first day and hear about their career aspirations.

 “This is a great opportunity for these young people to gain valuable work experience while achieving  qualifications and a salary so I hope they enjoy every minute.”

Jordan Dick, 21, from Castlehill applied for the scheme after hunting for a job without any success. He can’t wait to start his apprenticeship with Greenspace.

He said: “I was unemployed but couldn’t find anything and was even walking up the High Street asking in shops for a job. I had previously worked in a hairdresser but wanted to try something new.

“Being chosen to be a Modern Apprentice is great. I’m excited to gain a qualification and I know this will help me in the future. One day I hope to run my own business.”

Josh Groden, 20, is beginning a plumbing apprenticeship after previously working as a produce operator.

He said: “I found out about the apprenticeship scheme through my friend’s dad, and I’m delighted to be accepted.

“My last job was just money, but this will be a career.”

As well as funding Council apprenticeships, the Investment Fund can also be used to support jobs in the private sector.

Businesses employing level two or three Modern Apprentices can receive funding when the employee is in their second year.

By encouraging industries including the construction sector to take on modern apprentices, the Council aims to help meet the local skills shortage, enhance the local economy and a have positive impact on West Dunbartonshire communities.

The money will also be used to fund assessor and verifier qualifications for existing Council staff, enhancing learning and development and avoiding the costs for hiring external providers.