Approved by the Leadership Board, the move will allow the council to strengthen links between classroom learning and the world of work, and reduce the impact of poverty and inequality on young people’s opportunities.
Councillor Mark Macmillan, Renfrewshire Council Leader, said: “We have made significant strides in our efforts to create work and training opportunities for 18 – 24 year olds with Renfrewshire now the fourth highest council in Scotland for youth employment. Youth unemployment has fallen further and faster in Renfrewshire than anywhere in Scotland
“That is fantastic progress which we will absolutely build on. Our effort to close the achievement gap is one of our top priorities and underpins our aspirations to achieve full youth employment and tackle poverty.
“This investment will deliver work to strengthen links between schools, further education and local employers for young people from low income backgrounds. It will also let us develop work experience opportunities, boost vocational skills, work with employers to build skills in young learners and create more opportunities for recruitment directly from education.”
The funding forms part of a wider employability action plan funded by the council’s £6m Tackling Poverty fund, and has been drawn up by the council, West College Scotland, University of the West of Scotland, Skills Development Scotland, Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, and Engage Renfrewshire.
The £117,000 will deliver:
- £43,000 to West College Scotland to support the Parents in Partnership programme, provide taster sessions and employability and personal development courses for young people with additional needs.
- £28,000 to University of West of Scotland to provide taster sessions for S2 to S4 pupils and a module called ‘step up’ for S5 and S6 pupils. Step up will be delivered in May 2016 to let pupils experience university and its opportunities. Parents will also be part of the programme.
- £22,000 to Princes Trust to deliver the Achieve and Future Starts Programme that works with schools to ensure pupils employment, training or further education in place before leaving school.
- £18,000 to the Chamber of Commerce for a Skills Ambassador Programme which would provide group business mentoring in every secondary school – targeting the most vulnerable young people.
- £6,000 to Engage Renfrewshire to offer supported work experience and volunteer opportunities within the voluntary sector to young people with additional support needs.