YOUNG residents will be able to exclusively apply for council apprenticeships later this year, the council leader has revealed.

This year, young people in Bury will be able to apply for apprenticeships which have been ringfenced specifically for people living in the borough.

Cllr Eamonn O’Brien said despite the economic hit from Covid-19, it is vital the council plans ahead for years to come.

He said: “We still have to plan ahead for the future - and this will also help our coronavirus recovery efforts by bringing more people into employment.”

The council currently offers apprenticeships across several different areas including legal, accounting and recruitment.

Proposals are being draw up so exact details of the number and types of apprenticeships will not be available until later this year.

Cllr O’Brien added: “We still have to plan ahead for the future despite budget constraints.

“The council wants to do everything in its power to help our young people during the economic recovery from coronavirus.”

Backing Young Bury is the council’s campaign to help improve learning and working opportunities for young people in the borough.

The campaign aims to ensure that Bury Council has a skilled future workforce - and has already led to a significant increase in the number of young people accessing apprenticeships and work experience opportunities.

And the council wants to provide more opportunities for young people, including extended work experience placements, pre-employment training and an increased number of a varied range of apprenticeships.

Towards the end of 2017 Bury Council recruited 26 new apprentices, with a further 22 being hired the following year.

They are employed in a wide range of services including legal, accounting, workforce, registrars, leisure centres, recruitment team, art gallery, occupational health, ICT and grounds maintenance.

This then was the first large cohort of apprentices taken on by the council since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy.

And it supports the council’s aim to comply with the government’s target for public sector bodies to have 2.3 per cent of their workforce made up of apprentices.