KYOGLE Council has been crowned the Northern Rivers' employer of the year.
Council took out the Large Employer of the Year Award at Novaskill's annual awards night at Ballina last week.
The award recognises the council's significant investment in the future of the area's young people.
Over the past year the council has employed five new bridge and roads civil construction apprentices and three school-based trainees for tourism, business administration and planning and environment.
Mayor Danielle Mulholland said the council had made a conscious decision as part of its Workforce Management Plan 2017-2021 to provide increased training and employment opportunities for young people in the local government area.
"Council believes it is important to invest in young local people and give them every opportunity to cement their future here in our area," Cr Mulholland said.
"Offering employment and training opportunities to the area's young people also benefits council. As our workforce ages, we will have trained and highly-skilled young employees ready to step up."
Council's General Manager Graham Kennett said the award represented recognition that the strategy the council had adopted was being effectively implemented.
"Our Workforce Management Strategy was developed to address some of the key issues we face such as an ageing workforce and skills shortages," Mr Kennett said.
"This investment in skills, and the recognition we obtain through awards such as this, are all part of delivering our strategic goals such as being recognised as a local employer of choice, and retaining and attracting a diverse workforce.
"We have given eight young people a start this past year and our plan is to retain the current levels of apprentices and school-based trainees on a rolling basis in the future."