A GROUP of young people started working with Wigan Council this week after securing a place on a much sought after apprenticeship scheme.
The council has said “you’re hired” to 13 local youngsters – all aged between 18 and 24. A further two apprentices will be taken on in the coming weeks and more could be recruited later in the year.
It is the first time since 2009 the council has run an apprenticeship scheme.
The authority says it is committed to helping young people into employment and has launched a series of campaigns to tackle youth unemployment in the borough.
The 13 apprentices will be based in different teams across the council.
They will be performing a variety of clerical and office functions. Each will receive a mixture of on-the-job training and the opportunity to work towards an NVQ in Business Administration.
Nearly 150 applications were received for the positions with more than 60 applicants interviewed.
Wigan Council’s leader, Lord Smith, said: “I’m delighted these 13 young people are joining Wigan Council and wish them every success.
“Given the state of the jobs market, and the difficulties many young people face finding work, Wigan Council is setting an example and investing in our youth.
“Apprenticeships are hugely beneficial. They add value to the local economy and help young people get vital skills and experience. I know our new recruits will benefit from working here and we will be benefit from employing them.
“We are working with other firms and organisations to roll out more apprenticeships across the borough.”