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Glasgow Airport kits out young people with right tools for the job

A project which aims to improve prospects for school leavers has netted an award of £2,000 from the Glasgow Airport FlightPath Fund.

The JETs programme works with young people aged between 16 and 20 in East Dunbartonshire to help them secure jobs, education or training.

It is one of two programmes co-ordinated by Positive Alternatives, a diversionary education provider which operates in Bearsden and Milngavie. East Dunbartonshire Council established Positive Alternatives, which relies on a group of 12 local youth workers to deliver its programmes, in 2009.

Positive Alternatives cheque

JETs – short for Jobs, Education and Training – targets those who have left school and offers a range of group activities including outdoor pursuits, conservation projects, keep fit, healthy living, sports and wider achievement awards such as the John Muir Trust Award for Conservation.

The aim is to build self awareness and improve the participants’ employability, life and social skills. More than 80 young people take part every year and referrals come from a variety of sources including schools, social work and voluntary organisations.

The Glasgow Airport FlightPath Fund award will allow the purchase of tools and personal protection equipment such as wheelbarrows, hard hats, goggles, high viz jackets and first aid kits for use in local conservation and community gardening projects.

Two teams of young people are currently engaged in conservation projects at Barrhill Fort, near Twechar and Cardowan Moss, near Hogganfield Loch. In partnership with Forestry Commission Scotland, the work carried out has long-term benefits for communities.

Councillor Manjinder Shergill, of East Dunbartonshire Council, is a member of the Glasgow Airport FlightPath Fund Board. He welcomed the award: “The JETs programme is exactly the type of project we are keen to support through the FlightPath Fund as it ticks all the boxes – education, employment and the environment.

“In addition to bringing young people together and teaching them a range of skills which can only improve their job prospects, the local conservation projects deliver real benefits to the environment and the wider community as a result.”

East Dunbartonshire Council’s Convener of Education, Councillor Eric Gotts, said: “These conservation projects are an important element of the JETs programme but if we are asking the participants to carry out physical work in the community then we must provide them with the right tools and safety gear.

“We are delighted to have secured this funding as it means we can continue to identify and carry out these projects. The new equipment will help hundreds of young people as we guide them towards a job, training or education.”

Find out more here www.glasgowairport.com