Five Hundred Training for Work Places to Be Created in Craigmillar

Posted: 22 December 2010, in Press Release

Leading Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition member, Forth Sector,  is to build an ‘employability hub’ in Edinburgh’s Craigmillar area which will create up to five-hundred training for work places for disadvantaged people in the city and up to eighty permanent jobs.

Following recent agreement with the City of Edinburgh Council to acquire the vacant Duddingston Yards industrial site in the east of the city, the charity is developing Scotland’s first purpose-built complex of businesses with training and support facilities available on site. 

Initially three of the charity’s five businesses will operate from the site, including a laundry, soap manufacturing facility and embroidery/corporate wear business. More businesses are expected to move to the site in due course and the complex will also help unemployed people to set up businesses.

The hub, which will open in early 2012, will attract investment of £3 million. A substantial investment has been pledged by the Government-backed Scottish Investment Fund. Forth Sector expects the balance of investment to be secured in the near future.

Antonia Swinson, Chief Executive of the Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition said “Transfers of public sector assets like this are key to the development of Scotland’s social enterprise movement. This is clearly an excellent example of public social partnership and we wish this initiative every success.”

The Right Honourable Iain Duncan Smith MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions visited Forth Sector recently citing it as an excellent example of how disadvantaged people could be supported to help them secure meaningful work. The DWP is looking to bring over a million people off of benefits and into employment.

Forth Sector’s Chief Executive, Mike Finlayson said “What makes this development unique is that training and support are provided within real, competitive businesses. Many organisations are engaged in employment-related training, which helps, but the reality is that employers are looking for people with real work experience in real businesses. This is a chance for Edinburgh and Scotland to lead the way is helping disadvantaged people into meaningful employment. If it proves successful we can expect to see similar initiatives throughout Scotland and beyond.” 

Councillor Tom Buchanan added: “I welcome this news. As well as providing much-needed new jobs and training places in what we know is a deprived area of the City, the hub’s activities will result in broader social regeneration benefits to the local community.”  

Forth Sector is a social enterprise, which supports disadvantaged people into employment. It also runs the award winning guest house Six Mary’s Place, the Scottish Soapworks, a retail outlet and consultancy business Forth Sector Development.