CHESHIRE West and Chester Council is celebrating the creation of 50 jobs through its work-based apprentice scheme.

Most of the new jobs created – shared almost equally between the sexes – have been in the areas of administration and information technology across all the departments of the council.

But there will soon be new opportunities via the council’s Housing Service at Ellesmere Port with positions for two plumbers and two electricians.

The work-based apprentice scheme is available to young people either in the authority’s care and those leaving care. So far two have been given apprenticeships.

Apprentice co-ordinator Jan Houghton said: “This is a wonderful milestone for the new authority. We are proud of the scheme’s success – particularly at a time when jobs are so hard to come by.

These young people have been given the opportunity to prove themselves and deserve great credit for the way they have risen to the challenge.

“Not only have they managed to further their own career but the authority and the people it serves have both benefited from their abilities and their efforts.

Cheshire West and Chester Council pays the salaries of all its work-based apprentices and the Government funds their training costs.

Since the new authority was formed in April 2009, over 100 youngsters have been interviewed, eighty-nine of them awarded apprenticeships in various departments of the council for at least a year.

Resources director Julie Gill said: “At best our apprentices will get a job and the beginning of a career.

“At worst they will leave us with the equivalent of five GCSE A to C qualifications and a year’s valuable work experience that will stand them in good stead when they apply for another post.”