AN apprenticeship scheme has secured places for more than 2500 Glasgow school leavers.

The council-backed Commonwealth Apprenticeship Initiative aims to help city youngsters benefit from the legacy of Glasgow hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

It was set up in April 2009, with hopes of finding places for apprenticeships among participating firms.

More than 450 businesses and organisations in the city have taken on Commonwealth Apprentices in the past three years.

Councillor Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council, joined a group of apprentices at the Four Seasons Nursery at Glasgow's Skypark business centre.

The nursery apprentices gain practical work experience while attending college to learn the theory behind childcare development.

They will graduate with a Scottish Vocational Qualification Level 3 to become Childcare Practitioners.

Mr Matheson said: "The Commonwealth Apprenticeship Initiative has already been of one of the biggest success stories in terms of a legacy from the 2014 Games.

"It's a real pleasure to see this project in action, as the apprentices begin their working lives at places such as the Four Seasons Nursery, an organisation that understands the benefits of the CAI to both employer and employee."

In November, the nursery, in Waterloo Street, won the 2012 Commonwealth Apprenticeship Initiative Business Award, for the best small business working with apprentices in the city.

Managing Director of Skypark Nurseries, Inez Murray, said: "We were thrilled to receive the recent CAI Business Award.

"Glasgow City Council offers a great incentive to employers as they pay half of the first year's wages.

"Employing school leavers is not all plain sailing, but the pleasure of seeing our apprentices finishing their qualification and graduating far outweighs any pain. Just like our children, we aim to give them the best possible start."

The apprenticeship initiative is part of the £25 million Glasgow Guarantee – with the Commonwealth Jobs Fund and the Commonwealth Graduate Fund – which aims to ensure every Glaswegian between the age of 16 and 24 has access to a job, training or an apprenticeship.