(background) ASC young apprentices Kieran Harris and Marquis Alexander.
(Front row L-R) Linda Urquhart OBE, Chair of Re:markable, Gordon McKenzie, Managing Director of ASC Ltd, and Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Employability and Training.
£200k Scottish Government funding for SMEs and micro businesses
Scotland’s SMEs and micro businesses are being urged to apply for Scottish Government funding aimed at helping them attract, develop and retain young employees aged 16-24.
The funding, worth £200,000, for the Investors in Young People (IIYP) accreditation will help support up to 300 small enterprises over the next six months and will be rolled out exclusively by Re:markable (formerly Investors in People Scotland).
Micro (1-24 employees) and SMEs (25-250) are being encouraged to register interest to take advantage of a fully funded IIYP consultancy – in effect, a company health check and/or 50% towards the cost of first-time IIYP assessments.
Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Employability and Training, joined Linda Urquhart OBE, Chair of Remarkable, at ASC Limited in Edinburgh this morning to announce the funding. The Edinburgh-based scaffolding contractor has benefitted from previous IIYP funding and works hard to improve the prospects of young people through a successful apprenticeship scheme.
In anticipation of the Year of Young People in 2018, Remarkable is launching a series of workshops in October and November to help small and micro employers develop strategies for recruiting young people and developing their skills.
Workshops will be held in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Aberdeen. Experts from Remarkable will provide advice for organisations considering working with young people as well as show how to increase engagement with 16-24 year old employees and harness their talents.
Peter Russian, chief executive of Remarkable, said: “Funding like this is crucial in helping us support Scotland’s economy and small business sector, especially helping to tackle the challenges of an ageing workforce.
“Since we launched IIYP three years ago we have provided guidance to over 650 organisations, with 400 of these gaining IIYP accreditation. Next year will see Scotland celebrate its Year of Young People so the support we can offer to SME and micro companies over the next six months means the future looks very positive for Scotland’s young workforce.”
Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “This funding will help us to recognise those employers in Scotland who are committed to developing the workforce of tomorrow. Since its launch three years ago, the Investors in Young People Programme has provided support for over 650 organisations; I am delighted that Remarkable will be involved in delivering the next phase of this highly successful scheme.
“It further underlines our commitment to our ambitious youth employment strategy – Developing the Young Workforce – that sets out a blueprint to improve how our young people move from education to employment.”