Youth jobs scheme continues to succeed

MORE than 40 job opportunities have been created since the launch of the council’s Youth Employment Scotland (YES) scheme less than six months ago.

YES encourages businesses to create new jobs for unemployed young people and provides half of salary costs for six months for people aged 16 to 24 who have been unemployed for up to six months and have had difficulty in securing employment.

One of the businesses to benefit is holiday letting company Unique Cottages, based in Newtown St Boswells.

The company had identified a need for additional office and administration support and created a new post within its web-based accommodation service.

Through the YES scheme the firm were able to advertise the vacancy via local employability agencies, such as JobCentre Plus and Skills Development Scotland, and as a result employed Tom Pownall from Kelso, who had previously been on a training programme with SBC and was keen to build his experience in an office environment.

Amber Swinton, property manager, said: “I am delighted we have been able to take on Tom. As a growing business, the additional support was critical and Tom will be invaluable in providing the additional office and admin assistance we need.”

As well as the wage subsidy, the YES scheme provides ongoing support for both employers and employees.

In the case of Tom and Unique Cottages, the plan is initially to provide IT and Photoshop training through a Skills Development Scotland programme with a view to a modern apprenticeship at a later date.

Amber added: “The additional guidance and support for recruitment, training and development has been really helpful. We have been made aware of training opportunities we were not familiar with and it has certainly helped us develop a skills and development programme for Tom.”

Councillor Stuart Bell, executive member for economic development, said: “These six month placements will help young people get a foothold on the career ladder and after their placement either continue with their existing employer or put them in a better situation to move onto other employment opportunities.”

The scheme is open for applications until March 31.