>>Apprentices first for YM

From left, Opal Nikiperowicz, David Stevens, Aaron Pettigrew, Liz Easton (YMCA), Cath Cunningham (Dept Mgr).
From left, Opal Nikiperowicz, David Stevens, Aaron Pettigrew, Liz Easton (YMCA), Cath Cunningham (Dept Mgr).

KIRKCALDY’S MP has praised a town organisation after it was granted funding to launch an apprenticeship training scheme for unemployed school-leavers.

Gordon Brown congratulated Kirkcaldy YMCA after it was given the opportunity to offer places in the new initiative.

It is the first organisation in the Kingdom to benefit from the Council’s new £5m Youth Job Contract programme to deliver six apprenticeships.

The YMCA has been allocated the six places for training local apprentices over three years and it is looking to double the numbers to 12.

The programme aims to support 16-24 year olds into apprenticeships and presents an opportunity to make a lasting difference to young people by creating between 500 and 600 programme places working with the private, public, voluntary sectors and Fife Council.

The YMCA will liaise with Adam Smith College for courses training the young people for relevant qualifications.

Mr Brown said: “Liz Easton, the head of the YMCA, is to be congratulated on her initiative. Getting young people jobs and developing their skills has always been at the heart of the work at the YMCA.

“Now there is Fife-wide recognition of the good job the YMCA is doing in creating opportunities for young people.”

Councillor Tony Martin, Fife Council’s youth employment ambassador, is chairman of the Programme Implementation Board.

He said: “We are very pleased with the quality and wide range of apprenticeship opportunities being submitted for consideration and are delighted Kirkcaldy YMCA has shown its commitment to deliver six apprenticeships. ‘‘

Mrs Easton said: “The young people will work in the local community and do things relevant to community education.

‘‘At the end of the programme they will have hands-on experience and a qualification either an NQ or HNS working in communities.”

She added: “We are delighted to be able to work with the college on this scheme.”