Ambition programme extended

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Young people in jobs, exciting new enterprises, a vibrant economic future – and an unrivalled commitment to sustainable business growth.

That’s what South Ayrshire Council’s £1.5 AMBITION programme – has been designed to deliver – and the great news is that it has now been extended for a further six months to September 2016.

In addition, the business incubator units at Ayr and Girvan will shortly be augmented by a third unit at Maybole – offering outstanding support in modern premises to start-up and fledgling businesses – free of charge – to help them grow and succeed.

Launched in 2013 the Council’s AMBITION programme offers a comprehensive package of mentoring, advice and financial support, to ensure businesses get the best possible start and the chance to grow.

Council Leader, Councillor Bill McIntosh commented: “We’re serious about business success in South Ayrshire and AMBITION lays the foundations for new, exciting and dynamic businesses and entrepreneurs to maximise their opportunities to grow and prosper.

“In the short time since launch, AMBITION has committed business support that has already created 223 new jobs and is well on track to deliver the target of 1,000 new posts.”

“That’s fantastic news, but our ambition is to deliver more.”

AMBITION will be focusing on youth employment and will use Youth Employment Scotland funding to help up to 345 young adults to find work, with an additional 100 paid work experience trainees being taken on by the Council.

The programme includes wage subsidies, assistance with recruitment and help with employment and training to help businesses grow.

A Certificate of Work Readiness, developed Skills Development Scotland as a recognised qualification, is also being used as an option for some young people to help boost their knowledge and expertise specific to local business skills gaps.

In addition the Council supports a wide number of work experience initiatives, regularly recruits Modern Apprenticeships – with a wide choice of learning and experience opportunities on offer for young people – and offers graduate internships.

Councillor McIntosh continued: “Add to this the success of our WorkOut programme, organising work placements for secondary school pupils and we’re confident the future looks bright for young people seeking work in South Ayrshire.”

Over and above employability, AMBITION also looks to drive business growth by generating more start-ups and encouraging businesses to trade beyond the local market, creating additional new jobs for local people.

Social Enterprise development is also a key component, supporting the creation of new social/community enterprises and helping existing social enterprises to expand, creating sustainable employment opportunities within local communities.

The Council has also given the green light for AMBITION to be expanded to look at ways to support town centre business development, creating new opportunities for businesses to flourish in a town centre location.

Councillor McIntosh said: “Our ambition is simply to improve the local economy in South Ayrshire in a lasting and meaningful way.

“We’ll do this by supporting businesses to get off the ground, helping businesses expand and increase the number of people they employ and, crucially, helping people gain the skills, knowledge and experience they require to take full advantage of these job opportunities.”

For further information on the AMBITION programme, call 01292 616265 or visit the website;