GLASGOW is leading the way in a programme to get young people skills and training they need to pursue rewarding careers.

The city is home to the first Invest in Young People group where schools, colleges and employers work together.

The group is a partnership between employers, Glasgow colleges Regional Board and schools through the city council.

Two young workers at opposite ends of a training programme told of their modern apprenticeship experience.

Alexis Vincent 17, from Rutherglen, attended a week long course at the Marriott Hotel, in Argyle Street, while still at Stonelaw High School.

She is now in a full time post on a modern apprenticeship programme.

She said: I wouldn't have known about the apprenticeship if my teacher hadn't asked me if I was interested.

"I definitely see this as my career path now.

"With the Modern apprenticeship programme I get the best of both worlds. Loads of great training, but I'm also in paid work."

Aarron Douglas, 24, from Dennistoun, trained in hospitality supervision at the Marriott Hotel.

He said: "I've just been promoted and will be in charge of a team at the hotel leisure centre."

He said he was able to train as a personal trainer while on the apprenticeship programme and also earn while he learned.

The Scottish Government back the programme and said Glasgow will be the first of regional groups covering the country.

Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training, said Glasgow was the appropriate place for the programme to start as much more work was needed to get more young people into rewarding jobs.

She said: "It is important it is employer led within the city. It's a partnership with colleges and schools but the employer provides the training and the job at the end of it.

"Many young people think academic progression is not for them. This shows there is a whole array of opportunities for them.

"We want an improved system of vocational education that opens up a wider range of work opportunities to everyone, whatever their background or gender."

Business leaders said firms in the city were keen to be involved.

Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce

He said: "Youth unemployment is one of the significant challenges of our economic times and in Glasgow the jobless rate for young people is much higher than for any other age group.

"So, we are pleased to be working in partnership with the Scottish Government to become the first Regional Invest in Youth Group in Scotland and have a well established network of businesses who are ready to take part."