Rural apprenticeships

Rural trust offers businesses a financial boost to keep young people at home

A development body that recognises its young people fly the nest more than anywhere else is hoping a new incentive for businesses will keep youngsters in the area.

Finderne Development Trust (FDT) has today announced plans to deliver a financial boost to businesses willing to recruit apprentices.

The FDT’s rural-based apprenticeships project will fund a percentage of salary, travel and training costs to help businesses into recruitment to expand their workforces.

Chair of the trust Chris Piper said: “Finderne has more older households than the Scottish average, more families with no children and fewer single-person households than the Scottish average of any age. The out-migration of our young people presents a real challenge to our rural community and during our community consultation in 2018 it was identified as an area of priority for the trust to help address.

“By working in partnership with Finderne businesses to create opportunities and cultivate the skills required for business growth, we can grow the rural economy and enable more young people to remain in the area to train, work and develop fulfilling careers.”

Changing the population profile

Development manager Pery Zakeri added: “This project has great potential to bring about long-lasting change to Finderne. If we can enable a major shift in the population profile, we can build a vibrant, sustainable and balanced community.

“We have already been approached by businesses working in timber, horticulture and tourism who have welcomed the project for breaking down obstacles which may have prevented them from being able to upskill their employees and create new positions.”

The trust will kick off the project by working in partnership with Skills Development Scotland to deliver an apprenticeship and Skills for Growth workshop to provide a step-by-step guide to apprenticeships and skills development, from finding the right training provider to recruitment and beyond.

Jobs designed by employers

Roddy Innes, Employment Engagement Advisor at Skills Development Scotland, said: “Apprenticeships are tailored to meet the needs of business. They’re designed by employers, for employers to help invest in young talent or upskill current employees and are proven to help improve productivity.

“For businesses looking to identify their skills needs first, we also offer Skills for Growth, providing up to two days fully-funded business consultancy, resulting in a detailed people plan and guidance to the right support.”

The rural-based apprenticeships project is the first in a series that the trust set out to deliver during the launch of its first five-year strategic plan in late May 2019, which includes the provision of fast broadband and affordable housing. Having been awarded community benefit funding from the Logie Wind Farm (Hill of Glaschyle Renewables LLP), the trust is focused on delivering legacy benefits to Finderne.

Businesses based in Finderne are invited to attend a workshop, being delivered on Monday 24 February at The Long Room, Logie Steading, from 10:00am – 11:30am. For more information and to register for a place contact the Trust on hello@findernedevelopmenttrust.com or call 01309 221026. Further details about the Finderne Development Trust are available at www.finderndevelopmenttrust.com.

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