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Apprenticeship week highlights council projects

As Scottish Apprenticeship week gets underway Fife Council is highlighting the range of ways it's investing in Fife’s workforce of the future.

Working together is vital to success, with local businesses, Fife College and Opportunities Fife helping the council to deliver a range of innovative projects.

The Fife Youth Job Contract, projects in schools and apprentice academies in local businesses are just a few examples. But there’s lots going on inside the council too.

The council has committed £1 million a year to the Workforce Youth Investment programme. This is creating employment and training opportunities for young Fifers, aged 16 to 24, within different services across the council.

The investment has allowed the council to create apprenticeships in areas it hasn’t explored before including Education, Social Work, Finance and Catering.

Young people get job experience and training towards a recognised qualification too.

The programme started in June last year with 70 Modern Apprentices and trainee roles and, this year, another eight opportunities have been added.

It’s planned a further 10 Early Years Officers posts will be created later this year, following an academy after the summer holidays.

The council is also going to launch an Apprenticeship in Enterprise programme – the first anywhere in Scotland - next week.

Councillor Lesley Laird, Depute council leader and spokesperson for Business and Planning explained that working together with others is the key.

She said: “The council is committed to investing in Fife’s workforce of the future by providing young people with a range of opportunities.

“From working with employers in Fife to give young people vocational opportunities to strengthen skills they’ll need, to working with schools and colleges to highlight the range of training options available.

“And this year as part of the budget set in February it was agreed that £2 million would be allocated to develop a project where locally unemployed people get the chance to gain skills and training in local communities across Fife.”

In addition, officers are working on ways to give focus on other key groups in the community including vulnerable young people and getting young women into the strong engineering sector in Fife, Cllr Laird continued.

“There’s already been work done this year to look at how we help looked after children and how the council can expand that to help care leavers in Fife.

“It’s important to show young people, their parents and their carers that there are a range of career options for them available in Fife and that includes introduction into the engineering sectors through the STEM strategy.

“Sometimes these days it can be difficult, especially for young people their parents and carers, to know where to look for help and advice particularly with the changes in the curriculum.

“There’s a wealth of information online at the Your Future’s Unlimited section of the Opportunities Fife website.”

Meanwhile, the council’s £5 million investment in the Fife Youth Job Contract, which sees the Opportunities Fife Partnership work with local employers, is paying offand partnership working with Business Gateway has also meant 170 young people have started their own business in the last year – that’s 21% of the start-ups in Fife.

Councillor Tony Martin Fife Council’s Youth Ambassador said: “The Opportunities Fife Partnership is working together with 288 local employers currently to help create additional jobs in Fife for our 16-24 year olds. We are doing this to ensure the high levels of youth unemployment in Fife are addressed through targeted action supporting sectors where new and additional jobs can be created.

“In the last 12 months 446 jobs have already been created and over 600 will be created overall as part of this project.”

Cllr Laird continued: “Local employers and companies are also helping make this project a success through initiatives including skills academies where young people get the chance to learn about different sectors of industry including engineering and renewables and the skills needed to work in them. Council services are also increasingly working closer together to help put Fife at the fore front of employability.”

Have a look at the range of ways Fife is at the forefront of employability and find out how you can get involved. See the Your Future’s Unlimited section of the Opportunities Fife websitewww.opportunitiesfife.org.uk

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