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TopApril 2015


We hope you have had a wonderful Easter weekend and enjoyed the glorious sunshine while we've been hard at work producing this e-bulletin for you (do we hear violins?).


Look out for updates about the FVA Volunteering Awards and the next Volunteer Managers' Forum - it's shaping up to be a busy Spring/Summer season here at FVA!


We're also covering Fife Council's new "Fife Digital Directory" which many of you will find useful.


In terms of training it is a quiet month but we would like to highlight Springboard "Let's Cook" for clients and for staff a half day Introduction to Autism Workshop.


Finally we are pleased to announce that the Opportunities Fife Partnership have confirmed continued funding for the employability support team at FVA for 2015/16. To help us shape what we do for the coming year please complete the short survey below.


The deadline for the next e-bulletin is Friday 01 May 2015. Please send all contributions to me by email


Best Wishes


Christine Davison

Project Support Officer

Fife Employability Team Report and SurveyReportSurvey

The Employability Support Team at FVA have been working on your behalf for over 18 months now and are pleased to have had continued funding confirmed for a further 12 months.

To celebrate please see our 'Summary Report' of what we have done to date. There is always more to do but we are a small team and so must concentrate our efforts where they will have maximum impact. Please help us shape how we focus our time in the next 12 months by completing this survey.  

European Social and Investment Funding 2015-17

Please note that European Social and Investment Funding 2015-17 has now closed for applications. Successful applicants should hear in the next week or two. 


In advance of launching a new suite of programmes, the Big Lottery will close applications to Investing in Communities Stage 1. After midday on Tuesday 30 June 2015 Stage 1 applications to Investing in Communities will not be accepted. Other grants programmes - Awards for All, Young Start, Communities and Families Fund and Investing Ideas will remain open with business as usual. You can read more on this story by clicking the title link.

Nominet Trust - Funding for digital projects with a social impact


The Nominet Trust which provides funding and support to technology with a social benefit, re-opened for applications on Tuesday 17 March 2015. Social Tech Seed is an investment programme that offers early-stage investment of between 15,000 and 50,000 to social entrepreneurs and charitable organisations who are looking to develop new ideas to use digital technology for social benefits. The closing date for stage 1 applications is Wednesday 15 April 2015. 

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Training and Learning Opportunities

The Conservation Volunteers accredited training


The Conversation Volunteers (TCV) offer young people the opportunity to gain a formally recognised qualification within the setting of an outdoor learning environment. To find out more on their Employability in the Outdoors Award click here.

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Springboard Let's Cook! Programme, 20 April, GlenrothesLetsCook


The Springboard "Lets Cook!" programme starts on Wednesday 29 April for nine weeks and will run every Wednesday and Thursday at Fife College, Stenton Campus, Glenrothes. An information session followed by short informal interviews will be held on Monday 20 April (1.00 to 3.00pm) at Fife College, Stenton Campus in Glenrothes. Click the title link for further information.  

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Introduction to Autism, 20 April, DunfermlineAutism


When: 10.30am - 12.30pm, Monday 20 April 2015

Where: Fife One Stop Shop for Autism

The Fife One Stop Shop for Autism are running a free workshop for professionals looking for information about the Autism Spectrum. This workshop is a basic introduction which covers the triad, theories and sensory issues around autism. To book a place please call Elaine Smith on 01383 724200 or e-mail elaine.smith@scottishautism.org

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Facilitation Training - Lee O'Brien Solvent Trust (LOST), 26 April, Leven


When: 1.00 - 5.00pm, Sunday 26 April 2015

Where: LOST, 6 Union Street, Leven

The Lee O'Brien Solvent Trust are holding a free half-day facilitation workshop on how to run a group session. To book a place please telephone Stuart Pearson on 01333 424555 or e-mail admin@thelost.org.uk

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REHIS Elementary Food Hygiene Course, 28 April, Glenrothes


When: 9.30am - 4.30pm, Tuesday 28 April 2015

Where: Fife Voluntary Action (Glenrothes Office)

Costs: Places for voluntary sector delegates (staff, committee members or volunteers) 65.00 per person

Places for non-voluntary sector delegates are 85.00 per person. This course is aimed at people handling food and will make them aware of how to keep food and kitchens safe. Successful candidates will receive a certificate from the Royal Environmental Institute of Scotland.

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Just Enterprise Finance Training, 07 May, Perth


"Finance training: Budgeting for your organisation & funding applications" is aimed at managers and staff of third sector organisations who have limited previous experience of strategic business planning. The session aims to improve knowledge of the structured business planning process, help delegates to review their current strategy, and begin to plan how they want to deliver their services in the future.

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Offender Employability Summit, 20 May, Edinburgh


An employer summit will be held on Wednesday 20 May 2015 to highlight and promote the talent pool ex-offenders offer public and private sector employers. The summit will be held at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh and is a joint endeavour between Scottish Prison Service and the Scottish Government Community Justice and Employability teams. Any questions or suggestions can be directed to ashley.clarkin@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

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Other News

We are now taking bookings for the next Volunteer Managers' Forum on Thursday 30 April from 9:30am - 11:30am here at FVA in Glenrothes. Priority will be given to those unable to attend the last Forum. If you're interested in attending please complete this booking form.

We are delighted to announce that our flagship Awards Ceremony for volunteers, community groups and voluntary organisations is back and open for nominations! This is your chance to recognise and reward the effort of volunteers, organisations and community groups that are serving the people and communities of Fife. We would like to highlight our 'Volunteering into Work Award' which shows how volunteering can be a valuable stepping stone into employment.

Fife Digital DirectoryDigitalDirectory


A Fife Digital Directory has been published with information on where you can get free access to computers and the internet in Fife and where you can learn more about how to use them. Free digital skills courses for jobseekers across Fife are listed along with details of when and where community job clubs are running. You can pick up a copy of the booklet from any one of the FVA offices. 

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Scottish Apprenticeship Week - 18 to 22 May 2015


This year's Scottish Apprenticeship Week runs from Monday 18 to Friday 22 May. The benefits modern apprenticeships bring to learners, employers and the Scottish economy will be showcased during this week.

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Joseph Rowntree Foundation 'state of the nation' report


The Joseph Rowntree Foundation have launched a 'state of the nation' report on poverty and social exclusion in Scotland. The report shows that young adults under 30 now make up the biggest share of people experiencing poverty in Scotland, and are the only age group to have seen an increase in poverty levels since 2003. The report also highlights persistently high levels of disadvantage in health, education and work including:

  • 920,000 people in Scotland lived in poverty in 2012/13, 230,000 fewer than ten years before
  • Life expectancy in Scotland is still lower than in England: men in the poorest parts of Scotland live 3.9 years less than in the poorest parts of England
  • There's still a wide attainment gap (based on results at S4) between pupils who live in deprived and wealthier areas
  • Better qualified people are increasingly in low-paid work. In 2013, 13 per cent of low-paid workers had a degree, compared to 5 per cent in 2003.
To read more click on the title link.

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Scottish Government ministers have repeated their call to the UK Government to cancel the renewed contracts for the Work Programme and Work Choice. Both programmes were specifically highlighted by the Smith Commission among the employability support services that should be devolved to Scotland on expiry of the current contracts. The UK Government have written to the Scottish Government to again refuse to cancel contracts for the Programmes that take them up to 2017.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) have launched their Skills Update for employers across Dundee, Fife and Angus. This newsletter offers a glimpse of the various initiatives involving SDS and its partners across the region, including the support that they offer to businesses of all sizes.


Dr Alasdair Allan MSP, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland's Languages, has launched Welcoming Our Learners: Scotland's ESOL Strategy 2015-2020. The strategy provides an updated and informed context for the provision of publicly funded ESOL in Scotland. 

Access to Work update


Access to Work changes from October 2015. There will be a limit of one and half times average salary (40,800 at today's rates) per year on the amount of support Access to Work provides to new customers. For anyone who already has an award, or makes a claim before October 2015, this limit will not apply until April 2018. Disabled people will also be given flexibility and greater control over how they spend their awards through the introduction of personal budgets later in 2015/16. Supporting information:

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