Developing the skills of our young workforce and providing them with job opportunities is essential if we want to create thriving local economies and communities.

The good news is that there is a range of projects in West Dunbartonshire that will provide opportunities for training and employment.

The ongoing development of Queens Quay has seen a district heating energy centre and care home added to a mix that already includes West College Scotland, Titan Enterprise Centre, Aurora House and the new leisure centre.

A new health centre and additional housing will continue to develop the area into a vibrant mixed-use location and a number of the businesses involved on the construction are already providing apprenticeship opportunities.

Cameron House is currently recruiting new staff in preparation for re-opening in August, the Golden Jubilee Hospital is continuing with a major expansion, and Lomond Banks recently announced their commitment to create jobs and support local skills development as part of the proposed regeneration of West Riverside and Woodbank House in Balloch.

In the medium to long term the next phase of the Lomondgate development in Dumbarton, led by Strathleven Regeneration CIC, will see new businesses creating jobs, as will the establishment of the Malin Group’s Marine Technology Park in Old Kilpatrick.

The mixed industrial use development at the former ExxonMobil site at Bowling, pictured, will create more than 1,000 jobs as part of the £34 million Glasgow City Region Deal project.

There is a range of funded programmes to help businesses to take on a young person and our partners do some fantastic work within schools and colleges to support skills development and employability.

Businesses of all sizes can take advantage of these with 100 per cent funding, plus £1,500 towards costs, available through the Kickstart Scheme to provide a 16-24 year old with a six-month placement.

A number of apprenticeship and work experience options are also available and the Chamber can help businesses access these as part of our Building Bridges skills development programme in partnership with West Dunbartonshire Council.

A major print campaign to highlight the importance of supporting local businesses and to promote the #LovesLocal Shop Local activity is being rolled out across Dunbartonshire including Clydebank, Dumbarton and the Vale.

Flyers encourage people in each area to “#ThinkLocalFirst”. They also invite businesses, local clubs, societies and community groups to get listed on the LovesLocal website for their town.

To find out more and to connect with the Chamber or the Loves Local Campaign contact 0141 280 0272, email or take a look at dunbartonshire