Young people in Dunblane are being given a boost to get into work with the help of almost £40,000 of lottery funding.
From the Stirling Observer 14 February 2018
Discover Dunblane BID, the group representing over 90 businesses in and around the town, has been awarded £39,000 for the next two years from the Big Lottery Young Start Fund. The grant will be used to launch a new programme supporting young people locally to make the transition from education to employment. The package includes provision for a support worker and a project base.
The new programme Skills 4 Life, a name chosen by high school pupils, will take over from the 'Education for Life and Work’ pilot project which ran for two years led by Discover Dunblane BID in partnership with Dunblane High School and Stirling Council. More than 5O young people from the school have already gained work experience with businesses and developed new skills in preparation for life after school. In several cases, businesses were so pleased with their placement experience the young people were offered paid employment.
During the two-year pilot, the project discussed with the community the disadvantage carried by a minority of the town's young people who do not have access to additional educational support away from school. The Discover Dunblane-led team is tackling the issue head on and say the affluence within the area "masks a poverty of ambition and inclusion". They say the award from the Big Lottery will help the pilot project move into a bigger, broader and community-based initiative.
The Skills4Life programme will create a new community base in the town, which will be young person led and open to all those taking part. The base will be the centre of operations of a new enterprise company run by the young people and, it is hoped, an avenue of employment will be created with local businesses.
Discover Dunblane BID will recruit an employability engagement facilitator to support the young people in identifying opportunities and developing a wider network of opportunities outside Dunblane. The base will also host workshops as well as training and networking events.
The project is designed for 16 year-olds intending to leave school and a smaller number of 17-19 year olds. Around 100 young people are expected to participate in the two years of the project. Discover Dunblane chair Tom Casey said: "This award from the Big Lottery provides an essential resource to make a real difference in preparing our young people for life after school. Dunblane businesses recognise this responsibility and the central role they play in supporting our rural community. We strongly believe that the project will offer a blueprint for other communities. "Clackmannanshire and Dunblane MSP, Keith Brown, said: "This is a fantastic community-based partnership initiative which will expand the opportunity for local young people to develop practical skills and work experience.”