Minister visits Lanarkshire Housing Association to launch apprenticeships sponsorship scheme

Lanarkshire Housing Association (LHA) recently welcomed minister for business, fair work & skills Jamie Hepburn along with Clare Adamson MSP to its Motherwell office to hear more about an innovative sponsorship scheme for apprenticeships.

Laurie Boles and Charles Millar (Lanarkshire Housing Association), Jamie Hepburn (Minister, MSP),
Clare Adamson (MSP), Alison Nimmo (Developing the Young Workforce), Barry Skea (New College
Lanarkshire) and Simon McManus, Chief Executive (Lanarkshire Housing Association)

In conjunction with New College Lanarkshire (NCL), the Association has agreed to provide funding for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to encourage them to establish apprenticeship programmes or to take on additional staff. This project is fully supported by the Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) for Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire, who also attended the launch.

During the visit, a presentation was given on how the scheme was established, the benefits to be gained and the exciting employment opportunities being created in the Lanarkshire area. The feedback received was extremely positive and resulted in others pledging support to promote this worthwhile funding initiative.

Cumbernauld MSP Jamie Hepburn said: “The Scottish Government want to ensure that all Scotland’s people and businesses are equipped with the right skills to succeed in the economy, not just now but in the future. By listening to young people, and working with them, we will deliver fairer opportunities and ensure that our workforce flourishes.”

LHA chairperson Charlie Millar added: “The Association places high its social and corporate responsibility and its role in supporting communities, therefore, I am pleased that the funding being offered will be used wisely and to great effect, which our tenants can be proud of. I am grateful for the support given by NCL and DYW on this project.”

The Association initially approached NCL in February 2019 to discuss the feasibility of setting up the sponsorship scheme and the college showed its interest in taking the project forward.

Barry Skea, head of faculty for engineering and automotive at NCL, said: “When the association shared the idea, we immediately recognised the full potential of this scheme and have worked closely to ensure it becomes successful. We applaud the Association for creating this vision to help young people. The interest from SMEs in the Lanarkshire area has been great and is set to increase over time.”

It is important to recognise that efforts to create employment opportunities are happening all over Scotland and the DYW teams work collaboratively with firms like Lanarkshire Housing Association to facilitate projects like these become a reality.

Alison Nimmo, regional manager of DYW for Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire, added: “This scheme is vital as it provides a financial lifeline to small firms, based locally, who aspire to take on additional staff but have been unable to due to the lack of funding opportunities. I am positive it will make a difference to everyone who becomes involved.”

To find out more about the sponsorship scheme visit the Association’s website.

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