16 February 2023

Scheme to tackle unemployment helps more than 50 people back in work

A scheme to tackle long-term unemployment has helped more than 50 people into the workplace.

Funded by the Scottish Government, the Long Term Unemployment (LTU) scheme is part of the “No One Left Behind” initiative and supports people over 25 experiencing long-term unemployment.

It develops people’s skills and provides work experience to help them remain in sustainable employment.

Aberdeenshire Council has helped 54 people into opportunities, with 36 opportunities within the council and 18 with Third Sector organisations.  

Five of those who started placements within Aberdeenshire Council have now been recruited into permanent positions.

Aberdeenshire Council’s key worker for employability in the Banff area Susan Mackintosh recently met the Boyndie Trust team to find out what difference the opportunity had made in one of those Third Sector organisations.

She said: “It was clear from the onset that there was a relaxed atmosphere, and the employees were upbeat and spoke with passion when talking about their new jobs. 

“They all commended the Trust for the confidence, independence and the friendships that had evolved through their newly found work.

“Throughout my visit it was evident the huge difference this scheme had made, not only to the business but the positive impact on three people’s lives.”

Managers at the Trust have praised the new employees for the work they have taken on and their flexibility, saying their talent for the job was being wasted when unemployed.

New employee Amie Reynolds said: “This opportunity has built my confidence and allowed me to flourish and the flexibility with working hours has ensured I can work as a young mum.”

Fellow new-starter Colin Gordon said: “It’s great to secure work locally with lots of diverse opportunities to build on my current skills with a fantastic team.”

Also new to the role, Katie Swaffield said: “There are a lack of opportunities working outdoors for a young mum and without this employment I may still have been unemployed - the team here are so supportive and it’s such a happy place to work.”

CEO of the Boyndie Trust Duncan Leece said without the additional funding from the scheme he may not have been able to employ the three new high-quality staff members.

He said: “We have found all our candidates to be enthusiastic and motivated to learn, which has made our job pleasurable. 

“They have fitted-in well to our team and have been an asset during a very busy year.

“As a growing organisation, the scheme allowed us to increase our staffing level and take advantage of growth opportunities sooner than finances would otherwise have allowed. 

“The calibre of candidate meant that the staff input into their learning and development, was outweighed by the workload they took on for us, and by being willing to adjust our jobs to accommodate childcare and any other restrictions, we have gained some good people with talent that was being wasted when they were unemployed.”