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Funding boost puts social enterprise on ‘rite’ lines

Jobless youngsters across Scotland are to be helped to find full-time employment as part of a major contract awarded to a pioneering social enterprise.

Edinburgh-based Workingrite will deliver a £500,000 contract from Skills Development Scotland (SDS), to extend its highly successful work-based mentoring programme into new parts of the country.

The award represents a 300 per cent increase on Workingrite’s previous contract and will mean it spreading
its reach into Fife, West Lothian, Renfrewshire, Greenock and Moray. This will build on its existing presence
in the Forth Valley, Aberdeenshire, Glasgow, Argyll and the Highlands.

Between now and March next year, 189 youngsters, aged 16-19, will be paired up for six months with individual
construction and other skilled industry tradesmen in a two-way deal in which they work, learn and develop
mentoring relationships with role-model adults.

Last year 130 young people undertook a Workingrite placement, with 83 per cent progressing into jobs
or apprenticeships.

The new contract will mean two new project coordinators being taken on in Inverness and  Edinburgh,
the latter being assisted by a grant of £15,000 a year over three years from The Robertson Trust.

Sandy Campbell, Workingrite’s co-founder, said: “This is very exciting news. It allows us to extend
into areas beyond our established presence and bring the successful mentoring process to other areas
where it is needed.

“We are delighted to be delivering Get Ready for Work programmes, making a really positive contribution
to the future of young people and look forward to rewarding the faith that The Robertson Trust have placed
in us.”

To secure employability programme contracts learning providers need to evidence high standards of performance
and their ability to deliver positive outcomes for learners.

SDS makes decisions on contract awards, with employability representatives of Community Planning Partnerships,
to ensure training meets local demand and supports employers to give young people the opportunity to build a
sustainable career.

Under the SDS contract, 25 youngsters from Fife will be referred to start on the mentoring as well as 20 each
from Clackmannanshire, Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Argyll and Bute,  Inverclyde and Renfrewshire,
15 from West Lothian and Moray, 10 from Highland and four from East Renfrewshire.

It represents another significant step for Workingrite which started in 2004 in Leith and, as well as its rapid
growth in Scotland, its methods have been adopted in Sheffield, Sunderland, Newcastle, and in Eastbourne.

To help its expansion south of the Border, it has also secured a £20,000 award from the London-based
Young Foundation.

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