THE Fife Youth Job Contract, Fife’s response to high levels of unemployment in 16 to 24 year olds was launched this weekend at the Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline by Fife Council leader Alex Rowley.
A massive £5 million fund has been allocated by Fife Council to deliver up to 600 apprenticeships over the next three years. To
date, 168 apprentices have been signed up by local companies through the scheme which is being delivered by the partnership of Opportunities Fife.
Speaking at the launch Alex Rowley said: “In these difficult economic times it is crucial that Fife Council does all it can to support young people to get the training and skills to support them into work. The funding has been made available to ensure that we have the resources in place to secure training and apprenticeships across a wide range of sectors.
“We are pleased with the progress being made and the partnership approach with employers and would encourage more employers to become involved with the council scheme. “I am also delighted to announce that another £1 million annually has now been committed by Fife Council towards creating employment and training opportunities for Fife’s young people within Fife Council. This year will see the creation of 70 posts funded over the coming two years. Today sees the advertisement of over half these opportunities – roles in Education, Social Work, Finance and Business Administration with other roles being advertised over the coming weeks.”
Since 2005 there has been a 48% increase in the total number of 18-24 year olds claiming job seekers allowance and recent
figures showed the levels of young people out of work or training is continuing to grow. The Council is working with the Fife Chamber of Commerce and the Fife Federation of Small Businesses, Fife’s colleges as well as many individual employers to address the situation.
The funding aim of the Fife Youth Job Contract is to provide guaranteed employment for 16-24 year olds who are registered
unemployed. It is targeted at those who are at risk of not achieving a positive outcome. They are employed for a period of between 26 and 52 weeks and receive on the job training.
Mr Rowley also thanked Fife Council Ambassador for Youth Employment Cllr Tony Martin for the hard work he is doing in taking this agenda forward. He told the audience; “We appointed this position as we saw the need for clear direction and leadership to drive the skills and employment agenda forward. Tony and I are not members of the same political party but that should not matter as we are both focussed on ensuring that every child in Fife has the opportunities to achieve their full potential and that is what really matters here.
He continued; “I am pleased with the progress we have made but I am determined to ensure that all of the resources we have
within this area within the council are focussed in a joined up way and that we work to bring together all the resources available from all the partners in Fife to delivering skills, apprenticeships and jobs for the youth of Fife”.
Opportunities Fife is a partnership between Fife Council, Skills Development Scotland, Department of Work & Pensions,
the Voluntary sector, the Regional College and NHS Fife.