TWO hundred badly-needed new jobs will be created in Inverclyde after the council approved a major £6m investment package to get people into work.

The ambitious programme has been approved by councillors and will see a number of different initiatives launched to aid the local labour market.

Members of the policy and resources committee gave the go-ahead for a raft of proposals to support residents into work and boost the local economy at a time of crisis.

Under the council’s bold jobs recovery plan, around 60 permanent posts will be opened up within the local authority by allowing eligible employees in certain jobs to leave with up to three years’ service added and early access to their pension.

A further 34 posts will be supported through the local authority’s successful modern apprentice and graduate programmes and 30 roles will be made available specifically for those aged 16-24 and who are receiving Universal Credit through the government ‘Kickstart’ scheme.

The remainder will be delivered in the private sector through local employers through the council’s various wage subsidy and business support grant initiatives to support firms in taking on staff.

Members of the committee unanimously approved the jobs recovery plan and the funding for it.

Council leader Stephen McCabe said: “We’re in an economic and employment crisis and we have to act now to support our community.

"The best way to do that just now is jobs.

“A lot are permanent posts and some are temporary but when people get into temporary work that allows them to increase and improve their skillset making them more employable and opening up doors for future permanent roles."

Mr McCabe is confident that there will be good uptake for the early exit scheme.

He said: “There will be quite a number of staff who will feel they have served the council well, done their bit and would welcome the opportunity to gain more free time by leaving early while at the same time helping young people into employment.

“For a council the size of Inverclyde, this is a huge package of investment supporting people into work.”