AN "IMPORTANT" employability service helping Wee County people into work could completely disappear in the coming financial year under council budget cut proposals.

Clackmannanshire Works, the local authority's discretionary service which helps individuals as well as businesses grow, could close down for a £103,000 saving.

Employees say they supported more than 400 locals on employability programmes last year and Clackmannanshire Council's own website states that 91 per cent of people engaging with Clacks Works were satisfied overall with the support they received.

That is according to a survey from April last year, which also showed that 99 per cent of clients responding felt the could contact the service when they needed and that advisors, who offer one-to-one sessions, responded in a reasonable time.

Indeed, the council's own budget engagement document also showcases just how valuable the service is, but ultimately highlights they are not obligated to offer the service.

The paper read: "The team delivers a range of programmes and training which could all cease.

"We know these services are important to local people, but the council does not have a legal duty to provide them."

Alloa man Peter Todd, 54, spoke to the Advertiser to bring the issue to the fore.

He has been supported into a volunteer role at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert through Clackmannanshire Works, something he is due to begin this week, and hopes he could eventually land a part-time job if all goes well.

Peter said: "Clackmannanshire's been a massive help to me and I know they do a lot of marvellous work because 90 per cent of what they do in trying to help people into work is they actually talk to local employers in the area."

And added: "It is quite frustrating because I think Alloa is an area with high unemployment and I don't think enough is actually being done [to address that]."

He fears for young people who are possibly leaving school with no qualifications as he feels Clackmannanshire Works offers much in the way of training and apprenticeships.

"I just generally feel that if Clacks Works goes there will be very little for [jobseekers]", the 54-year-old added.

Tonight and tomorrow evening, Wednesday and Thursday January 30 and 31, will see two drop-in events, providing an opportunity for locals to talk to staff about proposals to slash services in order to produce a balanced budget – something which the council is legally required to do.

Both events will take place between 6pm and 9pm; tonight at Lornshill Academy and tomorrow at Alloa Town Hall.

Peter is urging everyone to head along, and said: "I will be attending on January 31 for the drop-in sessions in Alloa Town Hall and I'll certainly be letting my views known."