Help to improve prospects available

LOCAL jobless youngsters have been thrown a lifeline by Angus College which is offering training under the Scottish Government’s ‘Get Ready for Work’ scheme.

The college is offering more than 120 opportunities for young people after winning new contracts from Skills Development Scotland.

The ‘Get Ready For Work’ programme provides up to 26 weeks of work experience for 16 to 18-year-olds, allowing them to gain the necessary skills for employment with the aim of leading to either a job or another positive position.

Tom Black, the college’s employability manager, said: “The courses are intended for teenagers who lack work experience and/or knowledge of the working environment and last year the college and local employers between them helped 27 young people into sustainable employment, meaning the teenagers are either in a job where they gained their experience, or in a similar job with another employer.”

In addition to the 64 Ready for Work vacancies, the college is also offering more than 60 modern apprentice places for 16 to 24-year-olds in mechanical and construction engineering; retail, which is subject to frequent boosts from supermarket chains UK-wide; hairdressing; business administration; management and customer service.

The college will meet the full costs of training for an apprentice taken on by an employer, due to funding from Skills Development Scotland. The agency is managing a new programme which is providing around £13 million for colleges and towards the Government’s continuing post-16 education reform.

The scheme has been backed by local MSP Nigel Don who has encouraged all eligible young people to find out more.

He said: “The Scottish Government guarantees a place in learning or training for every 16 to 19-year-old who is not currently in a job, in education or in training. This offer is live now for young people in Angus North and Mearns which they can take it up through Skills Development Scotland.

“These are difficult times. Young people need to make the most of training and learning opportunities if they are to find jobs. The Scottish Government is putting a huge effort into helping young people find work.

“Employers will often ask, ‘What did you do when you were unemployed?’ If you can say that you took every opportunity offered by the Scottish Government to train and learn, you’ll stand a much better chance of getting the job.”

Further information about apprenticeships and ‘Get Ready for Work’ is available by contacting Tom Black at Angus College on 01241 432745 or by e-mailing Specific information about Get Ready for Work can also be provided by Skills Development Scotland’s Arbroath, office, 01241 433000.