SIX new apprentices are being taken on by Worcester City Council.

The council is launching a groundbreaking scheme to give young people who are struggling to find a job the ideal start to their careers.

The new recruits will be given the right skills to thrive in a modern working environment with the council’s human resources, cleaner and greener, regeneration and strategic housing departments set to take on four new members of staff.

The other two roles will be horticultural apprenticeships, with the apprentices asked to attend Pershore College for training on a part-time basis alongside their council duties.

The city council says the new apprentices will be able to start work during the last three months of the current financial year – from February onwards.

Councillor Marc Bayliss, the city council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economic prosperity, told a meeting of the cabinet that he was delighted with the move.

“There was a time when councils all over the place used to take on apprentices, but somehow in the midst of time all that got lost.

“It doesn’t tend to happen now, so it’s great that we are looking to do this and I’m very pleased to say that we are on track to take on six new apprentices to give them work and training opportunities.

“It’s excellent to see them given a chance at this council. We are absolutely committed to supporting apprentices.”

The news comes despite the city council outlining plans to cut the equivalent of 26 full-time posts by 2015 to save money.

It is also looking to hand over some of its services to external providers – a move known as commissioning.

Apprenticeship interviews will be taking place early next week with a series of candidates who council bosses have placed onto a shortlist.

Council chiefs say the budget will finance six new recruits but, depending on how the balance sheet pans out over the coming weeks, they may be able to increase it to nine next year.

The apprentices will be employed for at least 12 months.