Fife Council leader Alex Rowley has used a visit to the Benarty Regeneration Action Group (BRAG)in Crosshill to highlight the need for more action on employability initiatives to support people into work.
He was joined on the visit by Willie Clarke Chairman of the Cowdenbeath Area and saw some of the projects which are being run from the Crosshill Training Centre aimed at giving people new skills and confidence to get into work. Both councillors heard about the initial success of the 18 month programme put in place to support former Remploy staff find new jobs. Mr Rowley said; “It is striking that 35 of the former 37 employees have signed up to this programme and I was pleased to learn that many have been getting interviews and a few have been able to find work”.
BRAG have also supported over 300 people in this year with job ready skills including brushing up on IT skills, CV and interview techniques and have plans to expand this programme. They have also teamed up with Cowdenbeath FC offering a programme of motivation and teambuilding through sport as well as job search and preparation.
Willie Clarke said; “Brag continues to develop to meet the demands of a local economy supporting people into work and I am pleased with the kind of innovative projects they are currently offering. Both Alex and I want to see more practical support provided locally and we are pulling together all the partners in the area to look at how to expand the support needed at this time”.
Chief Executive of Brag John Oates also explained a new project for young people to develop skills through building full size racing cars in partnership with local engineering firms giving young people practical skills and developing self confidence.
Alex Rowley added; “In the last 18 months we have freed up £7 million to support young people through apprenticeships and training and over 400 young people have already been placed with an employer in Fife. We have proposed a further £2 million through the draft budget to develop a community training programme open to all ages to give initial training and support for employment and we hope to develop this in partnership with the third sector accessing more money to roll the programme out. In this current climate it is crucial that local people are able to access the skills to support them into employment and training”.
Photo shows Alex Rowley, Willie Clarke and John Oates viewing the car project.