Danielle Cowan would still be on the dole if a Scots social enterprise hadn’t invested its profits into creating a successful employment training programme.
The 20-year-old from Renfrew spent several months with Kibble Education and Care Centre’s RoadWorks vehicle maintenance business and that led directly to Danielle being taken on as an apprentice spray painter at a major Audi car dealership.
Danielle is a perfect example of how not only one individual, but also society, profits from a social enterprise investing its profits in extending and improving its services.
RoadWorks is just one of the businesses under the Paisley-based KibbleWorks umbrella – the organisation’s employment training wing – providing work experience to young people up to the age of 24.
The series of social enterprise businesses also includes construction, warehousing, joinery, metal fabrication, promotional products, gardening, catering, and household goods recycling.
But if it wasn’t for Kibble being a social enterprise and investing its profits back into the organisation, these businesses that help young people find jobs wouldn’t exist.
And Danielle would be living off social security benefits, instead of going through her apprenticeship at Glasgow Audi’s Accident Repair Centre, in Hillington.
She says: “I had gone to college and trained as a vehicle panel beater, but after three years of trying, I couldn’t get a job.
“I was signing on and then I got the chance to work at the vehicle mechanics business at KibbleWorks. If it wasn’t for Kibble and the opportunity they gave me I wouldn’t have got this apprenticeship at Audi.”
Danielle added: “Words couldn’t describe how I felt when I got this job – I’d never wanted something so bad as a job and now I’ve got one, it has changed my life.
“If it wasn’t for the employment training I got at Kibble I wouldn’t have got the job at Audi and I would probably still be signing on the dole.
“But everything has changed for the better now and I’m determined to do well in my apprenticeship.”
Iain Murdoch is manager at the Audi Accident Repair Centre. He said: “Danielle is doing great and she’s as keen as mustard.
“We’ve never had a female apprentice at this workshop, but she’s just like one of the boys and she’ll do whatever she’s asked to do to the best of her ability.”
Kibble’s chief executive, Graham Bell said: “Danielle’s story is proof that society profits with social enterprise.
“Without Kibble investing its profits into providing even more and better services to help young people there would be no employment training initiative, like KibbleWorks.
“And that means young people like Danielle would miss out on the employment training opportunities that played a major role in her landing that apprenticeship with Glasgow Audi.’