FORESTRY Commission Scotland has committed £360,000 of funding to help unemployed young people, as part of their Employment Skills programme.

The training programme, run and delivered by Forest Enterprise Scotland, targets unemployed 16 to 24 year- olds not in education, employment or training (NEETs) within the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN).

All training focuses on developing forestry skills and equipping young people with the necessary work experience and formal qualifications to enable them to gain paid employment.

Organisations already awarded funding to deliver the 2017/18 Employment Skills programme include; Conservation Volunteers Scotland who will provide training opportunities for 44 young people through three 13-week employability programmes and two 20-week Green Gym courses; Scottish Waterways Trust will deliver a Green Action programme engaging 30 trainees in working in the canal and national forest estate over two 12-week programmes; and Living Solutions in Fife will provide 20 young people with valuable skills and experience through four 13-week and one six-month programme.

Julie McAlpine, community engagement and employment skills manager at Forest Enterprise Scotland, said: “The Employment Skills programme is designed to work with young people who are not engaged with education or employment, some of whom are from challenging backgrounds. The programme helps to build confidence and develop skills that will hopefully help them move towards positive destinations, through further education, employment or volunteering.”

Julie continues: “We work with a range of organisations who will each deliver targeted programmes that will benefit young people, but we are keen to attract new partners looking to work with young people and help them progress their skills, development and experience.”

Delivered by Forest Enterprise Scotland, the programme takes places outside in public green spaces as training outdoors provides numerous benefits, but also has a positive effect in delivering technical skills, communication skills, team work and increasing self-confidence and belief.