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Council creates work opportunities for young

By Margaret Canning

Belfast City Council has announced it is taking on 10 apprentices in roles from electricians to gardeners.

The council also said that it would give 16 paid work placements to university students in event management, human resources, communications and other sections as part of its three-year £150m investment programme that was announced last year. DUP Lord Mayor Gavin Robinson said the council wanted to help young people make the most of the future.

"As a city, a skilled and talented workforce will be our greatest asset, yet opportunities are often scarce.

"I hope that today's announcement is the first step in creating a successful future for our young people and all of us."

At 8.1%, the Belfast area has Northern Ireland's second highest claimant count rate, behind Londonderry at 8.6%.

Sinn Fein councillor Deirdre Hargey, head of the council's strategic policy and resources committee, said: "We want to give as many people as possible the chance to develop the skills needed to apply for and secure jobs, regardless of background or where they live."

The council said that in year one of the council's investment programme, it had delivered 156 jobs surpassing its target of 110. It had also given 63 temporary job opportunities and over 200 placements. The apprenticeships are for fleet technicians, electricians, painters and three gardeners. The closing date is March 28.

Employment Minister Stephen Farry said: "The council has been working closely in partnership with my department to provide these opportunities in this difficult economic climate. I urge other employers across the city to follow suit and to work in partnership with my department to achieve similar outcomes."

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