THE future of apprenticeships in West Dunbartonshire has been guaranteed following an industry wide agreement.

Both West Dunbartonshire Council and local trade unions have committed to developing skilled apprentices in the area.

Thanks to the newly signed Apprenticeship Agreement, apprentices will be given training to suit the needs of a modern West Dunbartonshire workforce.

And as part of the new Agreement, will be offered terms and conditions equal to other council employees.

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In addition the option of joining a trade union will also be offered to new starts.

Working closely with employment programme Working4U, newly qualified apprentices will now be guaranteed interviews for relevant roles within the council.

Councillors, officers and Unison worked together on the Agreement, ensuring the best deal for future apprentices.

Councillor Diane Docherty, convener of housing and communities, said: “It is so important that we not only offer a high standard of apprenticeship opportunity.

“But can also reassure the people taking part in the programmes that they will receive proper terms and conditions, proper training, and proper support if they move on from the Council.

“This agreement sets out some guarantees that will ensure every apprenticeship post has real benefits for the person involved and for our local economy.”

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Councillor Caroline McAllister, vice convener of housing and communities, added: “As a council we recognise the significant role that work-based apprenticeships have on our future economy

“I am glad that this agreement has been made, as it will not only attract new applicants to come forward, but also ensure the high standard we have come to expect of these programmes will continue.”