14 November 2016
The First Minister visited Renfrewshire to announce that councils across Scotland will benefit from almost £13m of funding to tackle poverty in communities.
She visited Project Search, an initiative that gets young people with autism and learning disabilities into employment.
The funding for the project has come from a combination of £5m of European Social Funds (ESF) and funding from local authorities.
During the visit, she participated in an interview skills workshop where she shared some of her experiences in going for interviews in the past.
She also answered questions that the participants had for her, including: what animal she would be if she could choose (a cat), if she ever gets nervous before interviews or speeches (she does) and what her first ever job was (selling tattie scones around the doors!)
Speaking during the visit, the First Minister said:
Project Search is an excellent example of money being invested in traineeships to get people into work and is another example of how our membership of the EU has a real and lasting impact on the lives of Scots from every walk of life.
“We are working hard to ensure we continue to remain within Europe to enjoy these hugely vital and worthwhile initiatives.
“This government’s clear focus on tackling inequality is at the forefront of all we do, and this funding will play a hugely important part in our efforts to eradicate it from Scotland’s communities.
“In Renfrewshire alone ESF is providing nearly £400,000 which, when matched by funding from the local authority will come to around £1m. This will benefit a range of projects and provide much-needed support in areas such as debt management, childcare and housing support, and well-being services.”
The First Minister met Kieran Kelly at the workshop. He had been a pupil during a previous course, and has since gone on to secure a job at a charity that tackles disability hate crime. Speaking about the project, he said:
The experience I had with Project Search overall has been life changing. The work experience that I had has given me new experiences to learn new skills and allowed me to do things I have never done before. The classes were really interesting and fun and gave me the confidence to try new things.”