Barrow councillors have hailed a scheme which provides apprenticeships for young local people.

The council gets money back from using Procure Plus, a not-for-profit company, which helps it procure housing services.

As a result of the deal, council maintenance contractors Hughes Brothers and the Barrow-based Keith Wilson Electrical Contractors’ Ltd have six apprentices on their books.

More trainees are in the pipeline as a result of the council’s funding, a meeting was told.

Janice Sharp, the council’s assistant director for housing, said it was a way of ‘giving back’ to the community.

“This is about growing our own and developing our young people,” she said.

Council contracting firms sometimes faced a struggle to recruit young people because they could not compete with the wages paid in the shipyard.

Councillor Des Barlow, the Labour councillor for Walney North, commended the scheme at a meeting of the council’s housing management forum.

He said: “I think anything creating extra work and jobs and apprenticeships, I think is great. You have to start at the bottom and get experience. They are the future.”