Employability and training Minister Jamie Hepburn MSP has visited a Hebridean charity to see how they are helping people get back to work.
Mr Hepburn joined local officials at Third Sector Hebrides in Stornoway on Tuesday 22 August to witness their delivery of the Work Able Scotland programme which supports people to overcome barriers and find suitable, sustainable employment.
The Minister witnessed the help on offer for unemployed people and the innovative assessment tool used to identify a person’s strengths and weaknesses in preparation for a tailored package of support.
Work Able Scotland aims to enhance people’s skills, build confidence and improve motivation as people look for work. Delivery organisations like Third Sector Hebrides then work with employers to find suitable opportunities.
Third Sector Hebrides delivers the programme on behalf of Progress Scotland – a partnership between employability providers The Lennox Partnership and Working Links.
Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn said: “It was fantastic to visit the Isle of Lewis to see delivery of Work Able Scotland, one of our new devolved employment services, and to find out how it is helping people with health conditions in the Western Isles get into work.
“We have taken a fairer approach to employment support by removing the threat of sanctions and delivering services that are more flexible, tailored and responsive to people’s needs. It’s important to visit projects like Third Sector Hebrides so I can listen to people using our services and staff members to understand how the support is working, which will help the design and delivery of our future programmes.”
Third Sector Hebrides’ Chief Executive Hector MacLeod said: “We are grateful to the Minister for taking the time to visit with us, during which time he was introduced to the many projects we have ongoing at Third Sector Hebrides, including the delivery of the Work Able Scotland programme.
“Although it is very much the early stages of the programme, we look forward to working with delivery partners and clients, in making Work Able Scotland as beneficial as is possible for our community.”