Wales

Gwynedd Council eyes £300,000 apprenticeship scheme

An office worker
Image caption The council said it would pay a fair salary, equivalent to the minimum wage

Gwynedd Council is set to spend £300,000 setting up an apprenticeship scheme to help keep at least 20 talented young people in the area.

The scheme is being recommended to the cabinet despite financial pressures.

Nia Jeffreys, cabinet member for corporate support, said the council needed to develop a "quality workforce for the future" as one of the county's largest employers.

If approved, the new apprentices would be in post by the end of September.

Senior officers said in a report the scheme would provide young people with opportunities to develop a quality career mainly using the Welsh language, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Ms Jeffreys said she hoped in particular it would encourage more women to apply for apprenticeships in the so-called STEM sectors - science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The council said it would pay a fair salary, equivalent to the minimum wage, for apprenticeships, which usually last two or three years.

The UK government's apprenticeship levy could help fund the qualification and training elements of the scheme, the report added.

In 2017, the then Welsh Language Minister Alun Davies said government must step in to create a "vibrant economic base" in Welsh-speaking rural areas to prevent their decline through young people leaving in search of work.

Gwynedd's ruling cabinet will discuss the idea on Tuesday.

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