A major boost in confidence is just one of the benefits Kirkcaldy woman Kirstin Campbell has gained since she secured an apprenticeship through the Fife Youth Job Contract.
She is just one of 1927 young people who started an apprenticeship in Fife in the past year - an increase of 300 on the previous year.
The dramatic rise - which takes the region to third in Scotland for the highest number of apprentices - was announced as part of a celebration event for the Fife Youth Job Contract (FYJC) on Friday.
Fife Council has invested £5 million into FYJC which is being delivered by the Opportunities Fife partnership.
It gives young people aged between 16 – 24 a chance to work towards a Modern Apprenticeship or find their way to the right career.
Speaking to the Press at the event Kirstin (20) said: “I was the 100th person to get an apprenticeship through the Fife Youth Job Contract. I managed to get work at electrical contractors RB Grant in Kirkcaldy.
“I was placed with them for two months on work experience first before I was given the apprenticeship. It will last for four years and I am almost at the end of my first year.
“I have always had an interest in electronics and I found out about the project through Opportunities Fife after looking at their website.”
She added: “I found it difficult to get work to start with so was grateful to get this apprenticeship. It has boosted my confidence a lot and my boss Ronnie has been very supportive.”
Kirstin (pictured) was just one of the success stories highlighted at the event held to mark the achievements of young people who have taken up apprenticeships with local companies. The employers involved were also praised for supporting the project and helping to achieve this year’s results.
Lesley Laird, Depute Council Leader, said the number of new apprentices has gone beyond expectations.
She said: “The target we included in the Fife Economy Strategy for the total number of modern apprentices was 1900 – an increase of 300 over the last year. This was a real stretch but I am delighted to announce Fife has exceeded it.
“It was great to be able to hear the stories of those who have been involved and meet them at the event.’’
Councillor David Ross, Fife Council leader, said: “The Fife Youth Job Contract was a call to act to tackle some of the problems of youth unemployment and make a successful local economy. It is helping young people to reach their potential. I would like to thank all those involved in the programme.”
Councillor Tony Martin, Fife Council’s youth ambassador, said: “It’s great that the Fife Youth Job Contract has been such a success. It’s important we continue to work to build on that and we want other young people to get involved too.”