The problem of rural youth unemployment in Scotland including South Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway is set for a funding boost.
That’s because Project Scotland have been awarded funding to address the issue and it is hoped the will enable ProjectScotland to significantly expand its operations in rural areas taking the number of young Scots it supports in the North and South West of the country to 230 a year.
ProjectScotland offers 16-30 year olds full-time structured volunteering opportunities with charities across Scotland. Around 7 out of 10 ProjectScotland volunteers go on to work, education or training.
As part of the funding, Project Scotland will be further engaging with partners and charities in the South Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway regions to drive it forward.
Paul Reddish, Chief Executive of ProjectScotland, said: “Both ProjectScotland and the Scottish Government share a key goal – to help Scotland’s young people develop their skills and experience. We’re delighted to be working in partnership to do even more in rural areas. With this investment we will increase the number of volunteers on a ProjectScotland programme in the South West and North of Scotland to 230.
“The unemployment figure for Scotland’s young people is starting to decrease, as the economy improves and employers recognise the many benefits of employing a young person. However, we must not be complacent. The youth unemployment figure is still double that of the overall figure so there is more work to do to improve the situation for young people across Scotland. Our volunteering opportunities help young people get on in life by increasing their employment skills and confidence with the support of a mentor. We believe in the young people of Scotland and we want to help show everyone just how talented they are.
Angela Constance, Minister for Youth Employment, said: “Boosting youth employment is in everyone’s interests and while we have made good progress in Scotland, we can do much more. It is important that opportunities are provided to support all young people across Scotland, which is why I am delighted ProjectScotland work will be focussed on employment in our communities.
“ProjectScotland have built a strong record in supporting positive job and training outcomes for young people, through working closely with employers and third sector organisations. This funding will take ProjectScotland’s work even further and I look forward to following its progress closely.”
Project Scotland provide opportunities for volunteers in a variety of sectors, including arts, sports, media, animal care and the environment. Each volunteer has the chance to be supported by a mentor and to access employability workshops. ProjectScotland works in partnership with hundreds of charities throughout Scotland, adding capacity to their operations and making a difference to local communities.
To find out more about ProjectScotland volunteering opportunities in these areas visit: www.projectscotland.co.uk