Starting in April, seven Royal Greenwich employees will take the new training course, learning how to drive LGVs as part of jobs in the council's street services team.

Employees who complete the 12-month apprenticeship, known as the Urban Driver training course, will earn a level two qualification equivalent to a GCSE.

Cllr Linda Perks, cabinet member for finance and resources, said: ‘The Royal Borough of Greenwich is particularly proud to be supporting this new course, as qualified drivers are in such great demand across the UK and the pandemic has demonstrated that they're vital frontline workers.

‘Apprenticeships are a great way for us to support the long-term development of our staff, by helping them to develop essential new skills and earn a highly valuable qualification. They also enabled us to recruit and upskill more local people, which is a priority for the council. I was delighted to meet the apprentices, and I wish them all the very best with their studies and their future careers.’

Victor, a local resident from Woolwich who is taking the course, commented: ‘I thought the apprenticeship was a really good opportunity to get the right skills and training, and get on the job experience at the same time. You get to learn additional specialist skills and there's so many opportunities for good jobs out there, so I can progress my career. I'm really excited to get started!’