YOUNG people could be given the chance to work for Monmouthshire council’s operations department amid plans to bolster a “rapidly ageing” workforce.

A report reveals that there are issues with recruiting and training suitable staff to departments dealing with issues relating to highways and waste and street services.

The proposed cadetship scheme would see the council focus on training apprentices to prevent a “massive” skills shortage once employees retire.

Employees trained through the new two-year programme would be cheaper to retain than agency staff, with the council hoping to start reducing its dependency on temporary staff.

“The cadetship programme is a programme that is specific to operations with the intention of creating a buffer of staff to provide opportunities to young people to undertake training to a high level in a very competitive work industry,” the report says.

“It addresses the point of succession planning, skills shortage and excessive use of agency staff, also releasing surplus highly qualified individuals into the local jobs market, bolstering the local economy.”

The scheme will be targeted at applicants between the ages of 16 and 24, with roles focusing on highways maintenance, landscaping or grounds maintenance.

Cadets would be paid the respective national minimum wage for their age groups, with under-18s costing the council £8,190 per year and over-18s £11,507 per year.

The total cost for employing and training three cadets for two years would be £71,093 plus on cost and exam costs.

Three agency workers employed over the same period on £19,500 per year would cost the authority £117,000, according to the report.

Training would be provided by the Lantra training centre in Raglan, which has trained many of the employees that are due to retire within the next five to 10 years.

The report says: “Colleagues who went through a similar cadetship programme with the council some 20 plus years ago have predominantly remained within the authority and are currently some of the highest qualified and best-respected operational professionals in the country.”

If approved by cabinet members on Wednesday, the cadetship scheme would start from December.