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Published 28 June 2018

Hundreds of people in West Dunbartonshire are in new jobs thanks to a successful scheme to improve employment among young people.

The Youth Gateway, part of Glasgow Region City Deal, significantly exceeded targets set at the start of the three-year project.

There was particular success in West Dunbartonshire, with 1,326 young people involved although the original target set was only 780.

A total of 715 young people went into employment as a result – almost 500 more than expected.

It means the Council helped 52% of the young people who engaged with the project move into employment – the highest percentage for all eight local authorities who ran the scheme.

And West Dunbartonshire’s costs per job and person involved were lower than averages across the regions.

Councillor Iain McLaren, Convener for Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “I am delighted with the results of the Youth Gateway project.

“Seeing more than 700 young people are now in employment as a direct result of being involved in this programme is wonderful and shows how worthwhile our involvement in City Deal has already been.

“Our results are testament to the hard work being undertaken in West Dunbartonshire.”

One successful candidate who benefitted from the programme was Paul Geddes, 24.

He became involved in 2015 and was supported to secure a job as a Greenspace mechanic with West Dunbartonshire Council.

Now he works four days a week maintaining equipment in Argyle Park in Alexandria and spends a day at Glasgow Kelvin College working towards a Level 3 SVQ qualification.

And he has been delighted with his progress since he became involved in Youth Gateway.

He said: “I am learning valuable skills as I work from both the workplace and the college.”

Councillor Marie McNair, Vice-Convener for Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development, added: “This scheme shows how much can be achieved when Councils pool their knowledge and work together.

“It should also be noted that West Dunbartonshire Council managed to achieve great results while spending significantly less than the average across the region, with a cost per job of just £2,359 compared to £3,931.”

The Council cost of engaging young people was only £1,238 per person compared to a City Region average of £1,705.

The Council also came top of the list for outcomes compared to overall budget.

The programme, which ran to March, aimed to engage with 15,000 unemployed young people aged 16 - 29 years and to support  5,000 to progress to employment for a total investment of £15 million.

The Glasgow City Region City Deal is an investment to fund major infrastructure projects, create thousands of new jobs and assist thousands of unemployed people back to work, improve public transport and connectivity, drive business innovation and growth and generate billions of pounds of private sector investment.

The other local authorities involved are East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire.

Paul Geddes with his Youth Gateway project certificate