Employability e-bulletin
March 2015


STOP PRESS! In the face of many challenges at a national level, the team at Opportunities Fife Partnership have announced a timeframe for commissioning ESIF funded employability activity in Fife and have announced an immediate call for expressions of interest. Click here to find out more.


We're still celebrating the success of the Joint Employability and Health and Social Care Forum which brought together more than 70 people from across the third, public and private sectors. Attendees were able to explore the interconnections between health and employment. To read a note of the Forums and for all presentations please click here.


The wider Third Sector Employability Forum for Scotland has also launched a short survey looking at the role of third sector interfaces (like us) in representing local employability organisations. Your views and experiences of how this has worked here could make the difference to what happens across the country. To participate click here.


Fife Voluntary Action are re-launching the Volunteer Managers' Forum. The first meeting on Monday 16 March 2015 is now fully booked. However if you have an interest in attending in the future, finding out more or wish to sign up for the Forum's e-bulletin please click here.


Finally ... and we are not sure if this is good news ... we now have a deadline for the roll out of Universal Credit to Fife, see below for more details.


All the best,

The team at FVA


In This Issue

Fife Employability FoumFifeemployabilityforum

Thank you to those members of the Forum who attended our fantastic Joint Employability and Health and Social Care Forum on Wednesday 11 February 2015. We welcomed more than 70 attendees over the morning from the third, public and private sectors. A note of the Fife Employability Forum, the Joint Forum and all presentations are available on our website.

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European Social Inclusion Funding 2014-20 - Immediate call for expressions of interest! ESIF


The team at Opportunities Fife Partnership have announced a timeframe for commissioning ESIF funded employability activity in Fife. The turnaround for applications will be tight and key national guidelines are still missing, despite this OFP are doing their best to mitigate against these issues and ensure continuity of provision for the people we are here to help. Please click the title link for more information on how to apply and the timeframes involved.

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Bank of Scotland Foundation medium grants programme


The Bank of Scotland Foundation's Medium Grants Programme is open for applications. The Programme provides grants of between £10,001 and £25,000 to charities for projects that develop and improve local communities and those that develop financial literacy and financial inclusion. The next closing date for applications is Monday 13 April 2015.

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Asda carrier bag community grants


Asda has committed all proceeds from the sale of the 5p single-use carrier bags across their 62 stores in Scotland to charitable causes. The Asda Carrier Bag Community Grants will provide up to £2000 to help projects and good causes in their local communities. Charities and community groups with an income under £250,000 and three or more board members can apply. Applications are accepted and assessed on a rolling basis.

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Santander Social Enterprise Development Awards


Santander has announced that this year's Social Enterprise Development Awards are open for applications. The Awards aim to support established social enterprises and charities to grow their business and improve their local community. The deadline for entries is the Friday 10 April 2015.

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Princes's Countryside Fund re-opens for applications 


The Prince's Countryside Fund has re-opened for applications. Organisations and charities that are helping to protect and sustain Britain's farming and rural communities can apply for funding of up to £50,000. The closing date for applications is the Thursday 09 April 2015.

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Training and Learning Opportunities

Fife Jobs Fair, 14 March, Kirkcaldy


Fife College have provided the Atrium in the St Brycedale Campus, Kirkcaldy for this event. The Jobs Fair will take place on Saturday 14 March 2015 from 10.00am to 2.00pm. The Jobs Fair is open to anyone who is unemployed or soon to become unemployed. If you are working with people who would benefit from attending the Jobs Fair, then please encourage them to attend.

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"In the Woods" - The Secret Garden Outdoor Nursery Fife, 24 March, Letham Woods


The Secret Garden is offering a workshop for those interested in finding out more about being an Early Years Practitioner in the woods

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Fife Gingerbread Making It Work, 26 March, Glenrothes


Fife Gingerbread invites you to a special 'Making it Work' event on Thursday 26 March 2015 at Balgeddie House Hotel in Glenrothes, from 9.30am - 2.00pm. Making it Work is a partnership project which supports lone parents at all stages of the employability pathway, along with partner organisations Fife Council Client Action Team, Citizens Advice and Rights Fife, and One Parent Families Scotland. The event will explore how the holistic approach of the partnership project is effective in supporting lone parents to overcome barriers and progress on the employability pathway. Places are allocated on a first come first serve basis, to reserve your place e-mail info@fifegingerbread.org.uk or call 01333 303124. 

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Free workshop on mental health and welfare reform, FEAT, 31 March, Dunfermline


The Welfare Reform Act 2012 came into effect on 01 April 2013 and began the UK Government's biggest overhaul of the benefits system for many years. Concerns have been raised about the impact of these welfare reforms on people with mental health problems. During the workshop myths surrounding mental health illness will be exposed. In the second part, the workshop will consider evidence on the impact of current welfare reforms on those suffering from mental health problems in Scotland. 

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A Culture of Kindness: Enabling Caring Connections, 19 May, Lochgelly


A day of sharing, learning and experiencing good practice to create a culture of compassionate care to support our wellbeing through presentations, café-style discussions, taster sessions and stalls. This event is aimed at frontline workers and managers across all sectors in Fife.

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Back to work or volunteering after a Stroke, 24 March in Glasgow or 25 March in Edinburgh


The Stroke Association in partnership with Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland are organising two interactive events to explore good practice, challenges and opportunities in supporting people to return to work or volunteer after a stroke.

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Scottish Swimming - SQA/UKCC teaching aquatics courses 2015


UKCC Teaching Aquatics course is open for registrations of interest.   The UKCC Level 1 course enables learners to assist with Scottish Swimming Programme lessons. The Level 1 course will run from Monday 13 April to Friday 17 April 2015. A £200 ILA learning account is available if eligible, and a £150 Scottish Swimming bursary available on application to Scottish Swimming. All applicants for the course must be at least 16 years old.

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New civil service apprenticeship for young, talented people


The civil service are launching a new apprenticeship for positions in the 'Operational Delivery Profession'- the part of government that makes sure millions of UK citizens and businesses get the services and protection they need. Opportunities are available in Bathgate, Falkirk and Edinburgh. An additional fast track apprenticeship 'level 5' is also available.

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Other News

Universal Credit Roll Out to Fife 2015-16Universalcredit


Fife Council will be included in Tranche Four of the Universal Credit programme roll out. This will take place between December 2015 and April 2016. Details of all UC roll outs can be found in the title link.  

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Third Sector Interfaces survey TSEFSurvey


The national Third Sector Employability Forum's (TSEF) 2014/15 work plan identified a key action to influence Voluntary Action Scotland (VAS) and TSIs across Scotland to promote the interests of local employability organisations at a strategic partnership level. At FVA we are proud to say that the Opportunities Fife Partnership identified this need with Pegs and Christine representing and supporting the third sector in Fife for the last 18 months. TSEF would like to know your views on third sector representation by asking you to complete a short survey. The title link will take you to this survey which should only take five minutes.

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Scottish Government publish "Scotland's Economic Strategy" 2015


"Scotland's Economic Strategy" sets out an overarching framework for achieving the two mutually supportive goals of increasing competitiveness and tackling inequality in Scotland. It forms the strategic plan for all future Scottish Government policy and prioritises boosting investment and innovation, supporting inclusive growth and maintaining our focus on increasing internationalisation. To read the summary click here.

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New Planning Guidance to kick-start regeneration and jobs in Fife


Fife Council have launched new planning guidance on planning obligations. This has been revised in order to update and simplify the guidance, and to stimulate development activity. The new guidance replaces three previous documents, and is intended to support growth in Fife's housebuilding sector and to kick start regeneration activity in town centres and brownfield sites.

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Fife-ETC evaluation report demonstrates positive impact


The all new Fife Employability and Training Consortium (Fife-ETC) have published the evaluation of their first three months of performance to December 2014. The team are really pleased with over 269 new recruits of which 45 had moved into employment before Christmas. You can read the full evaluation report by clicking the title link.  

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Fife Council welcomes Scottish Government funding to support young people into employment


Fife Council welcomes the news of the allocation of £437,913 from Scottish Government to support young people in moving into employment. Over the last two years Fife Council has made significant investment in this area which has led to it being recognised as one of only four Wood Pathfinder Councils in Scotland.

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Fife celebrates young people who have found a positive destination on leaving school


Last year, over 92% of Fife's young people leaving school found jobs or went onto higher education - 0.1% above the national average. That's a 2.7% increase for Fife in the last year and means:

  • 83 more young people than the previous year went directly into a job

  • 63 more entered higher education

  • 82 fewer were unemployed after leaving school.

Some of these success stories were celebrated recently at a special event held at the Fife Renewables Innovation Centre.

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First recruits complete the Fife Rural Skills Academy


Eleven young Fifers found their way into forestry recently as the first recruits to complete the Fife Rural Skills Academy. This five week programme gave participants the chance to gain knowledge and experience in a range of rural skills. The Fife Rural Skills Academy is supported by Opportunities Fife, a partnership between Fife Council and Kingdom Housing Association's Fife Works, with the skills and training provided by the Fife Rural Skills Partnership (FRSP) and the Living Lomonds Landscape Partnership Programme (LLLP).

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