THE Provost of West Dunbartonshire says grassroots organisations are “vital” to shaping future employment for young people in Scotland as he hosted their annual conference.

Provost Douglas McAllister welcomed attendees and delegates for the 82nd annual youth conference of the Scottish Trades Union Congress at the Golden Jubilee Hotel and Conference Centre last weekend.

The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Crisis After Crisis: Living Costs. Climate. Our Future’ and Provost McAllister praised members for their desire to ensure that young people’s voices are heard.

He said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the STUC youth conference to West Dunbartonshire for the sixth time.

“We are proud to continue our association with an event that shares our desire to create chances for young people to build a brighter future for themselves and their community.

“As a council, we are dedicated to doing all we can to ensure our young people have the best possible access to career and development opportunities so they are fully prepared to make a significant contribution to the economic growth of our area.

“We have a thriving modern apprentice programme, operate a living wage policy and deliver a Mentoring and Coaching Excellence Scheme to support Council staff – including our young workforce – achieve their future career aspirations.”

Trade unions have been in the news recently due to a number of industrial action movements taken by the likes of members of the RMT union and the prospect of postal worker strike.

And Provost McAllister was quick to point out the great working relationship his council enjoy with the unions in the area.

“We (West Dunbartonshire Council) are lucky to have a very strong relationship with our unions, who fight hard to make sure the interests of our workers stay at the forefront of decision-making,” he added.

“I cannot stress enough how important that is, and how vital grassroots organisers such as the youth conference attendees are to shaping the future of employment for young people in Scotland.”