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Glen Oaks housing association has announced a fresh drive to give teenagers a taste of employment.

The Association is to continue its successful partnership with WorkingRite to offer its unique work-based learning and mentoring programme to its young residents.

The trail-blazing three year programme has now been extended by a further year thanks to grant funding of £77,930 from the Scottish Government, and a contribution from Glen Oaks of £12,917.

This greatly-welcomed Scottish Government contribution has come from the People and Communities Fund which supports community organisations to grow and strengthen by delivering results which meet and respond to the aspirations of these communities.

Tackling poverty and promoting social inclusion are key priorities for the fund.

Glen Oaks teamed up with charity WorkingRite which aims to help young people find a pathway into work.

The three-year initiative was given the Ministerial seal of approval two years ago in 2013 when Margaret Burgess MSP, Minister for Housing and Welfare officially launched it.

By the end of the initial project WorkingRite has fulfilled its pledge to have helped 60 local young people aged between 16 and 18 find work placements with local employers for between 3 and 6 months AND provide mentoring support to make sure the experience is a success.

Now the new cash boost will ensure it lasts another 12 months to help more young people.

During the programme teenagers are paid a training allowance, with the placement employers also contributing to this as a real commitment to their trainees.

Elaine McShane, Chairperson of Glen Oaks Housing Association said:

“Glen Oaks believes that we will only regenerate our community if we also try to improve the quality of life for all our residents. This includes giving our young people a helping hand to boost their employment prospects.”

Alasdair McKee, Chief Executive of Glen Oaks Housing Association said:

“We want to thank the Scottish Government for the initial grant funding to make this important work possible and the further money we have now received from them to continue this important work.”

“It is helping to tackle youth unemployment which we know from the communities we serve as a housing association is a major issue which causes real concern.

“Creating partnerships with employers in the local community undoubtedly helps young people make a successful transition into the workplace.”

WorkingRite runs projects in different parts of Scotland and has an impressive track record with 75 per cent of trainees progressing into full time employment or finding an apprenticeship.

Anne Wright, Project Co-ordinator from WorkingRite said:

“I am incredibly proud of all the young men and women of Glen Oaks who have worked hard to secure jobs and apprenticeships through the WorkingRite programme. I’d like to thank the committed and generous employers of the community who give these young people the chance to prove themselves, and invest time and effort in their training and support. It has been a pleasure working with Glen Oaks Housing Association for the past three years and I look forward to the next 12 months of partnership.”

Dennis Murphy, Chief Operating Officer from WorkingRite said:

“This is a great example of a genuine, successful partnership between WorkingRite, Glen Oaks Housing Association and the Scottish Government. We’re very proud that 3 out of 4 young people from Glen Oaks leave our programme with jobs or apprenticeships and we are grateful for the continued support from both partners to help more local young people make that vital transition to the world of work.”

One of the great successes of the scheme has been Glen Oaks resident Amy McShane who has found work in a florist’s shop after being on placement there.

Amy (17) approached the Glen Oaks’ WorkingRite scheme on the recommendation of a friend. Amy, who is from Arden, completed her 25-weeks of work with Flora International in Paisley Road West under the supervision of owner Lynn Bentley. Flora International is a small florist with three staff in a busy area of Glasgow.

The team at Flora International were extremely supportive and fully embraced Amy as part of the team.

Lynn said: “The WorkingRite programme worked well for us. It gave us the opportunity to have a young person in our workplace and she’s now a full time employee. A successful journey!”

Eight months after getting her job, Amy is still loving her work at Flora International.

She said: “Having a job has made me mature. I have gained so much and learned a lot. It’s really good to have a routine – I can’t just stay up until whenever I want and sleep in late. I also now know how to sort out money, which is good for the future. I am happy working and hope to continue what I am doing.”

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