Council invests £2m to help Fifers find work

Mark Wilson, first year apprentice, with Councillor Judy Hamilton.
Mark Wilson, first year apprentice, with Councillor Judy Hamilton.
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Extra money is being invested by Fife Council in a bid to create more opportunities for unemployed Fifers to find their way into work.

An additional £2 million will be used to extend the successful Fife Youth Job Contract (FYJC), as well as provide to help those looking for a job.

Efforts will be made to target disadvantaged young people, vulnerable adults and unemployed people from areas of deprivation.

This latest investment follows a successful ‘Employability in Education’ conference on Monday, which brought together 200 delegates to look at building links between schools, businesses and other agencies to make sure young Fifers have the right skills to get into the workplace and meet the needs of local employers.

Depute Council leader Lesley Laird, said: “Projects like the FYJC have helped Fifers aged 16-24 find employment.

“Now we are aiming to match schools and local business to help build the workforce of the future.

“It’s through initiatives like this that have helped put Fife at the forefront of employability.”

Councillor Tony Martin, Fife Council’s youth ambassador, said he was delighted to see additional funds going into the FYJC – which has already helped 475 young people into work – and the Opportunities Fife Partnership, particularly in the current difficult financial climate.

Cllr Martin, who is chairman of Opportunities Fife, an organisation set up to work with both employers and job seekers, said: “Over the next few years further difficult decisions have to be made if the Council is to balance the budget.

“I remain confident that appropriately funded employability pathways will continue to be a priority for Fife Council.”

The additional investment, has also been welcomed by Hugh Logan, principal of Fife College, and Eric Byiers, chief executive of Fife Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Logan said: “I look forward to working together with other partners to continue to build on what’s already been achieved and welcome this week’s funding news.”

Mr Byiers added: “It’s great to hear that the council has reinforced its commitment to helping those trying to find work with this additional funding.”

Wood Commission

Councillor Douglas Champman, SNP education spokesman, had highlighted the work of the Wood Commission, which has made recommendations designed to improve young people’s transition into employment.

Cllr Chapman said: “I’m working with the Scottish Government and Cabinet Secretary Angela Constance to ensure colleges, schools and employers can work closely together, and to create clearer career paths for young people as they leave school.