Government funding sees 600 new jobs in East Ayrshire

Originally published in Evening Times, 28/4/2010

Almost 600 jobs for young people are to be created in East Ayrshire thanks to Government funding from the Future Jobs Fund.

The jobs, all in so-called “green” industries, have come about because of the efforts of East Ayrshire Employability Forum (EAEF), an agency led by East Ayrshire Council.

Last year it secured funding of £725,500 for 113 jobs to be created between October last year and March this year. A second bid secured a further £3.1million to create 483 jobs before March next year – a total of 596 new jobs.  These have been created by a range of employers, providing a wide variety of work opportunities.

The programme places an emphasis on new “green” jobs and any posts created also have to deliver a direct community benefit.

It means that across East Ayrshire, young people are working at everything from looking after horses at Craigengillan stables in Dalmellington, to filming and recording at Kilmarnock’s Centrestage, to working in the council’s recycling plant at Western Road, Kilmarnock – jobs which they have chosen according to their interests or qualifications.

New jobs created last for at least six months and provide at least 25 hours per week paid employment for those aged 18-24 who have been unemployed for between 26 and 50 weeks.

The fund and the outcomes intended will be managed, supported and delivered by the Council’s skills development and employability service.

Councillor Jim Buchanan, spokesman for delivering community regeneration, said: “This will provide opportunities for young people to gain work experience and represents a significant investment in East Ayrshire, creating new jobs and increasing spending power in the local economy.”

Laura Neill, of East Ayrshire Council’s skills development and employability service said: “The Future Jobs Fund is creating real job opportunities for jobseekers.”