FIFTY young people are to start on a path to a career with a modern apprenticeship at Scotland's largest health board.

To help young people access good quality training and get a much-needed foothold on the employment ladder, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has offered apprenticeships in a range of areas.

The apprentices will sign up to a learning programme in addition to the on-the-job training they will receive.

Jobs include nursing assistants, clerical workers and receptionists, youth workers, technical officers and engineering.

Jobs will last two, three or four years ­depending on the type of role.

Each apprentice will have a mentor in addition to their line manager who will support them during their time while they also carry out academic study at Glasgow Clyde College.

Andrew Robertson, OBE, chairman of NHSGGC, launched the programme at a special event which all the new apprentices attended yesterday at Glasgow Clyde College.

People at the event also got the chance to see a short film, which featured a Modern ­Apprentice from the 2011 programme.

Mr Robertson said: "I look forward to welcoming the new apprentices into our workforce.

"Young people are our future and if we invest time and learning now they will be the future of our organisation."

This year's programme follows a smaller version which was launched in 2010/11 and has resulted in 12 young people going into jobs in Health Records and Healthcare Science.

Megan Stark, 20 of Moodiesburn, was part of the last programme and is currently working at Glasgow Royal Infirmary as a trainer.

She said: "I was 16 and in fifth year at school when I started.

"My mum saw the advert and I had thought I wanted to go into ­admin, so the role was perfect. Working while you learn is the best way to get qualifications I think, it means I'm ready to go from the start.

"I'm now a health ­records trainer and I would definitely recommend this as a good ­career path for young people.

"This was a fantastic way for me to gain the knowledge and skills I needed for the type of career I wanted.

"The fact that I am learning alongside ­actually doing the job has really helped.

"Everyone was so friendly and I would like to thank everyone who helped me along the way and for giving me this opportunity."

One of this year's ­recruits is 16-year-old ­Dylan Taylor, from Cumbernauld. He said: "I have started my new job in the payroll dep­artment and have been really enjoying it.

"When I left school I wasn't sure of what to do next but I knew I was always interested in a career in finance.

"I feel very lucky to have been given this fantastic opportunity and I know I will really make the best of it."

John Rafferty, director of Health and Wellbeing at Glasgow Clyde College, said: "This Modern Apprenticeship programme is not only an exciting opportunity for all of the young people involved but also for Glasgow Clyde College and our partners and stakeholders.

"This is our first real opportunity to show what we can do as a merged college and it has been a true pleasure hand picking the very best talent which is now at our disposal to create this high quality training experience for the NHS."