Annabelle Ewing, minister for youth & women’s employment, visited Kingdom Housing Association to learn about the success of Fife Works Employability Projects which have been supported by the Scottish Government to help hundreds of young Fife unemployed to find work by providing job-seeking support and training.
Kingdom has run Fife Works for six years and has helped young people into sustainable employment by providing a range of careers information, advice and guidance including: work experience opportunities, job specific training, job search skills, CV assistance, help with application forms and interview skills.
The project exceeded all the programme targets and supported 389 young people aged 16 – 24 years old; helped secure employment for 209 young people and assisted 212 people to complete relevant training courses.
The minister was impressed by the dedication of the staff that she met.
Ms Ewing said: “Fife Works is a great example of how organisations can support our young women and men into employment and training. We recognise the contribution community anchor organisations like Kingdom Housing Association make to their local communities, not only by helping young people to realise their ambitions but also by helping deliver real community-led change.
“The number of young people unemployed in Scotland is at its lowest May-July level since 2008 but we are determined to work with employers to ensure that more of our young men and women can secure sustainable and rewarding jobs.”
Bill Banks, chief executive at Kingdom, said: “The minister’s visit today has been very encouraging. Our mission statement is ‘to provide more than a home’ and initiatives such as this make a significant contribution to this through the added value that can be delivered in the communities where we operate.”
Bill added: “We have been operating and managing the Fife Works project for over 6 years now and we are really appreciative of the support and financial assistance we receive from the Scottish Government, Fife Council and other funders.”
The Scottish Government provided £250,000 funding towards the delivery of a Young Persons Employability Project for unemployed people in Fife. The funding was used to engage and support young unemployed in Fife, who were not in education, employment or training, helping them to increase their employability skills and to help them compete better in the labour market. The project ran from October 2012 to March 2015.
And Kingdom has recently been awarded a further £100,000, through the Scottish Government’s People and Communities Fund, towards the delivery of services to increase the number of employment and training opportunities for unemployed residents living in Fife through greater use of Community Benefit Clauses with procurement practices where companies provide services for the public sector. The fund is for services to be delivered between April 2015 and March 2016.
The fund is contributing to staff salaries, certified training, PPE and travel costs and aims to increase the number of people in Fife who can gain access to volunteering, work experience, employment and training opportunities.
The project staff will work closely with clients and contractors to deliver community benefits, through matching unemployed Fife residents with training and employment opportunities.
The project was delivered as a partnership between Kingdom and Fife Council, branded under the Opportunities Fife banner, with additional funding from Fife Council.