I was privileged to be invited to hand out the certificates at Access to Industry’s inspirational awards ceremony at this afternoon. They’ve managed to keep going even with the cuts that were coming their way thanks to hard lobbying and a donation from the Guardian’s Christmas appeal.
They do a fantastic job supporting the most vulnerable young people including care leavers and young offenders. The programme works because of the hard work of the Access to Industry staff securing training placements with big companies and firms. One of last year’s success stories was a Passport student placement in the Scottish Parliament with help through the Edinburgh Jobs Fund. There are also partnerships with colleges such as Jewel and Esk College and the NHS Lothian LEAP programme.
Students can join Passport at any time and it costs them nothing. Passport Students receive travel vouchers to get to and from one to one sessions. Young people also get support for job interviews and joining Passport does not affect a student’s benefits. If you’re interested in finding out about Passport you can find them on http://www.accesstoindustry.co.uk/passport.html
The programme has a very high success rate with young people going on to College University or into full time employment. It’s the sort of scheme we desperately need in the current economic climate.
That’s why I’m pleased the Scottish Parliament will be debating my motion on cuts to training programmes in Edinburgh on Wednesday. The loss of £2.3m will mean fewer opportunities for young people in the city at a time when we have 17% of our school leavers going straight on to the dole.