Employability e-bulletin
February 2015

We hope you're all coping with the recent cold weather that's hit us. Perhaps some of the news and events in this bulletin will warm you a little, particularly our information on the Scotch Whisky Action Fund below!


We are still accepting bookings for the joint Employability and third sector Health and Social Care Forum about which further information can be found below. Don't miss this unique opportunity to explore the links between health and employment.


On a related note the new Fit for Work service is now live in Scotland offering support for staff who are dealing with sickness absence whilst still in employment, and their employers. And an excellent report from MIND on what needs to change in employment support for people with mental health problems.


Finally we are pleased to celebrate some good 'Employer news' with the news from DEAP who have received their IIP Level 2, and from us at Fife Voluntary Action: we are delighted to announce that we are the first voluntary sector organisation in Fife to become an accredited Living Wage Employer. The Living Wage commitment means that all employees, regardless of whether they are permanent staff or third-party contractors and suppliers, receive a minimum hourly wage of 7.85 - significantly higher than the national minimum wage of 6.50. We are proud of this commitment to help end in-work poverty and we hope to inspire other voluntary sector organisations to make the same commitment.


All the best from the team at FVA 

In This Issue

Joint Employability and Health and Social Care ForumJointForum

We have a few places left at the Joint Employability and third sector Health and Social Care Forum on the morning of Wednesday 11 February at Rothes Halls, Glenrothes. This joint forum will be exploring the links between employment and health.


Participants will:

  • Explore the connections between employment and health and how Fife is working towards improving both of these;

  • Learn about the strategy for developing employment support in Fife for people with health problems and disabilities;

  • Hear about the changes coming from Health and Social Care Integration and how this will impact on the delivery of services; and

  • Have the opportunity to browse stalls of existing local agencies already actively working in these areas in Fife.


And because we don't want you to miss out on sector-specific updates, both Forums will run separately from 9.30am to 10.45.

The Employability session will hear the latest on European Funding from Opportunities Fife, news on Universal Credit roll out from DWP, as well as updates from Skills Development Scotland and FORT.

Participants will then come together after the morning break for the joint session finishing with a networking lunch and the opportunity to browse stalls hosted by relevant local organisations.


To book your place please email Christine Davison with details of which session(s) you wish to attend:


  • Health and Social Care Forum - 9.30-10.45 (Rooms 3+4)
  • Employability Forum - 9.30-10.45 (Hall B)
  • Joint Forum - 11.00-13.00 (Hall B) 

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Scotch Whisky Action Fund now open for 2015 applications


The 2015 round of applications to the Scotch Whisky Action Fund is now open. The Fund is looking to support and develop a range of projects/initiatives which will deliver targeted interventions designed to tackle alcohol-related harms across three themes:


  • Young people (aged under 18);
  • Families;
  • Communities.


Awards of up to 25,000 for a one year period can be made through this Fund which is open to applications until Tuesday 30 June 2015; with applications being considered by the Awards Panel in September 2015. To read more or to apply please click here.

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Fund to encourage more business start-ups


The Scottish Government's Social Entrepreneurs Fund will receive a further 500,000 from April to find and nurture entrepreneurs with a social or environmental mission. Under the Fund, people with ideas for viable businesses that help vulnerable people can apply for advice, support and start-up funding. Since its launch in 2009, the Social Entrepreneurs Fund has helped more than 280 people test and develop their enterprising ideas. Support is available from BRAG to access this fund. To read more click here 

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Training and Learning Opportunities

Mental health and disability awareness training for frontline staff, 2 March, Glenrothes


This one day workshop is being delivered in partnership with Fife Centre for Equalities, FEAT and the Supported Employment team at Fife Council and aims to build confidence for frontline employability staff when working with clients with mental health problems or disabilities. To book a place contact Christine@fifevoluntaryaction.org.uk

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Pre-retail employability course from Fife College


Through a combination of classes in college and work experience with a local employer, participants will gain a wide range of skills including ICT, communications, CV writing, interview techniques and more. On completion they will be fully equipped to start work or progress to another course. Programmes start in February 2015. More information can be found here.

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Support and Understanding of Social Skills Information Session, 18 February, Dunfermline


When: Wednesday 18 February, 10.30am to 11.30am

Where: One Stop Shop for Autism, 8 Viewfield Terrace, Dunfermline.

In partnership with Fife Council's Supported Employment Service, the One Stop Shop are running a workshop for individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis looking to develop the social skills needed for successful employment. The information session will give an overview of the course and the referral process. The workshop will also be suitable for potential participants with an ASD diagnosis and professionals. To book a place please contact Nicola Craig on 01383 724200 or e-mail nicola.craig@scottishautism.org

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MacMillan Cancer Support offer Graduate Certificate/Diploma in Welfare and Benefits Advice


The School of Health Sciences, University of Stirling in collaboration with Macmillan Cancer Support are delighted to offer an online, distance-learning opportunity for Health, Welfare, Social Care, Information, Advice and Volunteer professionals to participate in further study. There are no formal entry qualification requirements however students must work/volunteer in some capacity with people affected by cancer and/or long term conditions. To read more click here.

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Training for staff and volunteers


Don't forget FVA have a great range of training opportunities on our website for staff and volunteers including:

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Other News

DEAP Ltd achieve Investors in People Silver Award DEAPaward


DEAP Ltd is proud to announce that they have achieved the Investors in People Silver Award. The company achieved the bronze standard back in 2011 and have worked hard to achieve the silver standard. To read their press release click here.

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One-Stop Portal for Money Advice Services Launched


A new Financial Health Service offering a one-stop-shop for money advice services has been launched by Business Minister Fergus Ewing. Scotland's Financial Health Service website provides links to a range of organisations offering information and advice on debt, managing money, housing, homelessness and ethical lending.

A key part of the new website is a Financial Education module which aims to help people to manage their money to avoid any future problems. Users can search for their local credit unions and find out about the products offered by them, and also search for approved money advisers. To read more click here.

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Fit for Work service is now live fitforwork


Fit for Work supports people in work with health conditions and helps with sickness absence. Free, expert and impartial work-related health advice is available to all.  

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Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE)


To make services more accessible Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) have a national helpline (0800 917 8000), revamped website www.redundancyscotland.co.uk and improved information resources. PACE is the Scottish Government's initiative dedicated to helping individuals and employers with the advice and support they need when faced with redundancy. Skills Development Scotland (SDS) delivers PACE on behalf of the Scottish Government in conjunction with other key partners. To view the PACE information pack for Fife please click here.

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Older workers' scheme to tackle age discrimination


From April, the government is rolling out an 'older workers' champion scheme across every part of the UK to tackle the age discrimination that can force older people into the much higher levels of long-term unemployment than their younger counterparts. Intensive work support will be offered through the scheme with a 'career review', digital support for older jobseekers to get online and link-ups with local small and medium sized businesses with vacancies to fill. To read more click here.

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Study finds majority of children in poverty live in working households


New research looking at in-work poverty summarises the evidence about the extent and impact of in-work poverty in Scotland. It identifies three key factors that influence in-work poverty - hourly rate of pay; number of hours worked by members of the household; income gained and lost through the welfare and tax systems. To read more click here.

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We've Got Work to Do - MIND Report into supporting people with mental health conditions back into work MINDreport


This report brings together years of MIND's work to explain how and why the workplace, the benefits system, and back-to-work schemes so often fail to provide the support that people with mental health problems need to stay in, return to, or start work. They have set out their vision of what needs to be done to create a system that works. This vision is bold and ambitious, and will not be easy to achieve. To read the full report click here.

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Fife Voluntary Action | 08456 006 046 | info@fifevoluntaryaction.org.uk |
Craig Mitchell House
Flemington Road
Glenrothes, KY7 5QF