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Paid work placements in Inverness are boosting confidence and self-esteem

By Andrew Dixon

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Caitlin Forsyth and Councillor Ken Gowans.
Caitlin Forsyth and Councillor Ken Gowans.

Paid work placements within the charitable sector for unemployed people are being offered by Highland Council for the first time.

Funded by the Scottish Government through the No One Left Behind policy, this initiative proposes six-month paid work experience placements hosted by charities and non-for-profit organisations.

Paid placements provide participants with the opportunity to gain valuable work skills and training while earning money. Trainees are supported by a workplace mentor who provides supervision and guidance in the workplace, helping them to improve their employability skills that will boost their CV. At the end of the placement, host organisations are encouraged to help their recruits to find a job, whether within their own team or elsewhere.

Councillor Ken Gowans said: “I am delighted that our employability service is able to offer these opportunities to support our out-of-work residents to progress towards and into employment. Creating and supporting new work opportunities is a key priority for the council as it contributes to growing our economy and combatting poverty in our communities."

Nine placements have started since October.

Caitlin Forsyth recently started her front of house placement at the Café Artysans in Inverness, which is run by the Calman Trust.

She said: “I’m enjoying working in Artysans, it’s brought structure to my day and has boosted my confidence and self-esteem. This opportunity is giving me the experience I need to work in a fast-paced environment, and I am learning all about good customer service and about working with others as part of a team, which are skills that will help me get a job in the future.”

Harley Grant also joined Café Artysans for his placement as a kitchen assistant. He said: “I really want to work in a kitchen, so this is a great opportunity to start a career. It feels good to have routine and to be busy. It’s hot, fast, and busy in the kitchen and there is a lot of cleaning! But you have to start somewhere, I’m learning a lot as time goes on.”

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