Wage subsidy scheme works for pair

Alanah Young at work in the Sandwick knitwear factory. Photo: Ben Mullay

Alanah Young at work in the Sandwick knitwear factory. Photo: Ben Mullay

Scalloway resident Alanah Young is the first of a group of young people to complete 26 weeks under a new wage subsidy scheme introduced last year.

She started work in July at Laurence Odie Knitwear Ltd at Hoswick, Sandwick. Meanwhile Mark Wallace has been training at the Peerie Shop Cafe in Lerwick.

Mr Odie said: “This new scheme gave us the incentive to give an unemployed young person an opportunity to learn new skills and gain experience in the workplace.”

Mark Wallace in the Peerie Shop Cafe. Photo: Ben Mullay

Mark Wallace in the Peerie Shop Cafe. Photo: Ben Mullay

Emma Gibson of the Peerie Shop Cafe added: “The funding has been very helpful with the cost of recruiting a new member of our team. It enabled us to consider someone with less previous experience. We are now able to provide more time for training and developing Mark’s skills.”

Scottish goverment funding is available to support new opportunities for youth employment in the private sector. The funding has been extended to provide more opportunities up to December.

The scheme is targeted at private sector companies and charities with fewer than 400 staff and provides 26 weeks of wage subsidy based on 50 per cent of national minimum wage rates to participating employers. Young people aged 16 to 24 must be unemployed to be eligible.

Vocational training manager Margaret Simpson said: “This youth employment scheme is an excellent example of a successful partnership with other agencies, namely Job Centre Plus, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and SIC Youth Services.

“We have already helped eight people get into work with a range of employers participating in the scheme, and we hope this can continue.”

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