Willie Haughey’s £2m search for apprentices − 100 of them

THE millionaire Labour donor Willie Haughey has vowed to spend £2 million of his own money to support 100 young people to take up apprenticeships.

At the end of a week that saw UK youth unemployment break the one million barrier, and exceed 100,000 in Scotland, the Glasgow-based entrepreneur pledged to take youngsters off the dole to try to prevent a “lost generation” of Scots without work.

In an interview with Scotland on Sunday, the founder of City Refrigeration revealed that he will start recruiting for his apprenticeship scheme at the beginning of next year.

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Twenty-five of the new apprentices will work at City Refrigeration, the company he set up after he served his own apprenticeship as a 15-year-old school-leaver with no qualifications.

Haughey is talking to other business and civic leaders about how to create the remaining 75 jobs.

Haughey believes a practical approach to creating jobs and wealth is far more important than arguments over Scottish independence and has called on politicians to work together across parties to tackle unemployment.

“At the moment things are so critical, there is no time for politicising,” he said. “We need a lot of cross-party solutions to a lot of issues, especially unemployment.”

“I really just want to emphasise that anyone who is in a position to help in any way should get in contact,” Haughey said.