Scotland's Economy

Criminals’ cash creating jobs

March 29, 2012 by No Comments | Category Investment

Since 2007, the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme has invested over £45 million of bad money for good purposes. Funds seized from the proceeds of crime is provided to communities to put young people on a positive path in life by offering them the chance to take part in hundreds of thousands of free sporting, cultural, educational diversionary activities and development programmes.

Over 600,000 young people aged 10 -19 years have already benefited from opportunities with Scottish sporting, arts, business, community and youth associations. The projects range from diversionary work to more long-term potentially life-changing intervention projects, which aim to turn an individual’s life around and provide them the opportunity of a positive destination such as employment, education, or volunteering.

Now for the first time, we have got together with business to launch a unique scheme which uses crooks’ cash to help young people from challenging backgrounds get back on track and access free education, apprenticeships and employment.

The PowerSkills programme offers opportunities for youths coming through CashBack to gain an engineering qualification and get the chance to progress towards an apprenticeship with ScottishPower. It is funded by £200,000 confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Act and in-kind support from ScottishPower and Cardonald College.

Young people from challenging backgrounds are selected for the scheme through CashBack’s Personal Development Partnership, which is run by Venture Trust, The Prince’s Trust Scotland / Fairbridge and Venture Scotland.

Twelve teenagers are already enrolled in a six-month training programme at Cardonald College in Glasgow. The resulting Level 1 qualification offers the skills and eligibility required to enter the ScottishPower Foundation Engineering Programme. Reports so far on the progress of the students are encouraging and they are all on their way towards accessing apprenticeships.

This Government is working hard to create jobs, support our young people and ensure that they have as many positive opportunities as possible. Jobs and economic growth are our top priorities and youth employment is one of the most vital. We have already delivered a Youth Employment Strategy and we will also support a record 125,000 Modern Apprenticeships over the next five years. Meanwhile our Opportunities for All initiative will ensure that every 16-19 year old not already in work, education or training is offered a learning or training opportunity.

Scotland’s greatest asset is its people. Our young people are the future and we must continue to make sure that they have every opportunity they possibly can to contribute to Scotland’s economic success.

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