Employment opportunities for young people have become a national concern in recent years with many struggling to find even part-time work.
But one business is bucking that trend by continuing to hire apprentices and offering them the chance of swift promotion.
Paul’s Quality Butchers has five shops across central Scotland - and three of them are now run by managers under the age of 25.
Alan Roome, Patrick Paton and Stephanie Craig all joined the business as teenagers and each now enjoys a position of responsibility.
Patrick (24) manages the Grangemouth shop, Alan (21) is in charge of the store in Bonnybridge while Stephanie (23) is manager at the firm’s recently opened delicatessen in Grangemouth’s York Square.
The trio all started as apprentices working under Paul Conway, who established the business in Kilsyth in 2002.
“I get great satisfaction giving job opportunities to young people,” he said.
“The three of them are all passionate and enthusiastic workers and that’s the kind of people I want to employ.
“We offer them training in all aspects of the business - the butchers side and in retail. There’s no point in them being stuck on a till or vice versa.
“It’s a tough trading environment just now for all businesses. But I believe in giving young people a chance.”
Stephanie said: “I started working Christmas shifts when I was 15, and I joined full-time after leaving school. We’re encouraged to work hard and learn the skills we need to progress in the business.”
Paul is looking to recruit more apprentices. For information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.