An ambitious plan to help 60 young people in Leven and Lochgelly find jobs in the retail and care sectors has won the backing of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.
The Trust awarded Adam Smith College £31,000 towards staff and student costs in running the Step up to Retail and Step up to Care courses.
Nicky Wilson, Scottish Trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust said: “Helping people from former mining communities into work is one of our key priorities, and these courses will give a lot of young people the skills they need to find and keep a job.
“The courses will be particularly welcome in view of the high unemployment levels in the Levenmouth area.”
Official figures show Fife’s unemployment rate is running at a four year high with 10,766 people claiming Jobseekers Allowance in January and 16 people chasing every vacancy compared with 11 per job in December.
Joe MacIntyre, the College’s Project Director for Community Planning said: “This is the first time we have applied to the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and we are delighted to have won their support.
“The retail sector is one of the few areas of the Fife economy which is showing any signs of growth particularly due to expansion by supermarkets like Asda and Sainsburys.
“We ran a highly successful pilot of the Step up to Retail course in Kirkcaldy and helped lot of young people into jobs by giving them the skills to meet employers’ needs.
“We will now run a full retail course and adapt the model with our Step up to Care course as there are also employment opportunities in that sector.”
The retail course will involve 12 weeks of classroom training in the college and 8 weeks of work placements for three different groups of 12 students over the next year.
Another 36 young people will be involved in the care training courses on the same basis.
Note to Editors:
1. The Coalfields Regeneration Trust was formed in 1999 to help mining communities recover from the devastating effects of pit closures. Since then the Trust has spent over £15m in Scotland supporting over 500 community-based and job creation projects in the hardest hit areas.