Jamie Hepburn MSP welcomes 3000th Wheatley job and training opportunity
A Wheatley Foundation programme to tackle unemployment in some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas has reached a major milestone – with its 3000th job and training opportunity created.
Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training, Jamie Hepburn MSP, first launched the scheme back in 2018.
He returned to Glasgow today to meet some of the tenants who have been given a path into work.
Wheatley Foundation, the charitable arm of Wheatley Group, runs the ‘Wheatley Works’ jobs and training programme to help people find work for the first time or return to employment after a break.
At the event, the Minister also met Wheatley staff and partner organisations who have provided on-site training and employment opportunities.
Minister for Youth Employment and Training Jamie Hepburn said: “As we face the cost of living crisis, it’s important that people are given the help they need to thrive. The work of the Wheatley Foundation is a great example of partnership working and it has been hugely successful in providing life-changing employability opportunities.
“I would like to congratulate everyone who has taken part in this programme over the past five years and the Wheatley Foundation on this milestone.”
David Evans, 43, from Milton in Glasgow, is a tenant of Wheatley Homes Glasgow, part of Wheatley Group.
Before being helped by Wheatley Foundation, David had been on employment support allowance for nine years. Following his on-site placement through a Trades Taster course, he was offered full-time employment with McTaggart Construction in Glasgow.
David said: “The Wheatley Foundation course was really important in getting me mentally ready for work. That was invaluable. I’ve now got a lot more belief in myself.
“Anything I need, I know I just needed to pick up the phone. That was more beneficial to me than anything else - just knowing there was someone there to talk to if I had any issues.
“The job is still a challenge, but that’s probably part of the appeal of it. I am trusted to get things done on sites. It makes me feel part of the team. I want to keep developing and getting involved as much as I can.”
Wheatley Foundation Chair, Professor Paddy Gray OBE, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Minister back to hear about the success of the Wheatley Works scheme and for him to speak with tenants about the difference it is making to their lives.
"It is a credit to the team at the Wheatley Foundation that this has been achieved despite a long period of time when the pandemic saw many of our partners shut or restrict their work."
“We know how difficult it is to find work in the current market. That is why the Wheatley Works programme is an invaluable support for so many people in homes across Scotland who want to gain employment but need a helping hand.”
Figures show 70% of Wheatley homes are in Scotland’s most deprived areas and only a quarter of working age tenants are in work – with 70% of households near the poverty line.
Wheatley Works, which is part funded by the Scottish Government, provides a range of employability programmes, such as pre-employment skills, mentoring and training, as well as apprenticeships and job opportunities.
Thursday, January 26, 2023