WHAT is the old saying?The good Lord giveth and the good Lord takethaway. I'm not entirely certain if that message was included in the good book or any other book as it may happen, but it can certainly be applied to the town recently, in terms of the jobs front.

I was absolutely delighted to read that West Dunbartonshire Council is ready to take on some 48 new apprentices over the area.

Isn't that fantastic news?

For a town such as ours which is synonymous with apprenticeships, it certainly is heartening to know that youngsters will have the opportunity to gain a trade.

Growing up in the town in the 1960s and early 1970s, it was almost taken for granted that every male school leaver (I do acknowledge and welcome that apprenticeships are now open both sexes)would have the offer of an apprenticeship with one of the major employers within the town.

That was one of the great losses following the demise of the industrial base. Also, sadly, apprenticeships were also offered in so many, varied types of trades, lots of which are no longer available or near extinction.

In any event, I'm sure everyone will wish good luck to those fortunate to be selected for these apprenticeships with West Dumbartonshire Council and hope that they go on to have long, successful careers.

Wouldn't it be nice if other local employers were able to take on apprentices? I would like to think that there were grants and subsidies around to assist.

But alas, while that was the positive news, the flip side was not so good. In fact, it was pretty awful.

The decision to shut down the Remploy factory is in my opinion, nothing short of a disgrace. I will never, ever understand the mindset of those making such decisions.

How on earth these factories are the victims of commercial decisions baffles me.

Are the people making these judgements not mindful of what Remploy are doing?

It's just not about giving those vulnerable in society a job, important as that may be, it's about providing them with a sense of status, a state of belonging, a feeling that they are contributing; it's about developing self esteem, building a confidence and establishing a belief that they have a role to play.

Stripping them of this integrity in plain wrong, thoughtless and unforgiveable.

I watch in total amazement, how some footballers in the English Premier League get paid up to �250,000 per week - let me just repeat that in case it didn't quite resonate - a quarter of a million pounds PER WEEK- for a kicking a bag of air around a field.

Where is the morality in that when you consider the decision to close Remploy?

I observe with disgust how those multi-national organisations return zillion of pounds of profits each year and look where possible to exploit every available accounting loophole to increase these amounts.

Where is the morality in that when you consider the decision to close Remploy?

Bankies have always possessed a sense of fairness and a real passion for social justice in its natural form.

I propose that along with those other towns who will suffer as a result of closing Remploy factories,we demonstrate our anger at such a decision.

I'd hate to think that we are not going to let our friends and fellow towns folk, employed at Remploy, suffer in silence.