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Venture Trust awarded CashBack for Communities funding to support disadvantaged young adults

We are delighted that the Scottish Government CashBack for Communities programme has awarded Venture Trust funding to develop 'CashBack Change Cycle', a vocational training programme designed to create the building blocks for onward progression into volunteering, work experience, training and employment.

The programme will support over 200 16-24 year olds from areas of deprivation across Scotland over a three year period. These people are often facing multiple barriers, such as long term unemployment, potential risk of reoffending, anti-social behaviour, and little education or training, and are at high risk of life spiralling out of control. The CashBack Change Cycle aims at breaking the cycle of long term disadvantage, supporting participants to build aspiration, motivation, self-confidence, and to develop a range of vocational and employability skills.

The programme takes the form of an intensive three week course combining classroom based employability training, and workshop based vocational skills development focussed on bike building and maintenance. There will be a five day wilderness residential which includes a volunteering conservation project and mountain biking training. There will also be a period of community-based aftercare support in the form of one-to-one advice, support, and a range of opportunities.

The Bike Station will be providing the bike building and maintenance training, as well as teaching on and off-road cycle skills. All young people will build their own bike which will be a real tangible achievement. Venture Trust and partners will lead employability sessions, and there will also be health & safety, first aid, CV writing, and creating a career development plan. During the wilderness element, the young people will be encouraged to participate in an outdoor volunteering conservation project.

The young people will complete the course with their own bike, which they can then use as a means of transport for job interviews, and for getting outside. They will also receive ongoing one-to-one support from Venture Trust, in order to work towards achieving their goals from their personal and career development plans. There will be brokered access to a wide range of services, agencies and groups, and Venture Trust will also offer some participants the opportunity to take up voluntary work placements/tasters.

Commenting on the award, Amelia Morgan, Chief Executive Officer of Venture Trust, said: “We are thrilled to receive the support of CashBack for Communities to reach over 200 young people struggling with unemployment and complex life circumstances. This intensive employability programme, delivered in partnership with Bike Station, will offer personal development coupled with vocational qualifications on bike construction and maintenance. Our experienced staff will be there to encourage and support the young people in gaining the necessary life skills, confidence and a sense of purpose to overcome barriers to become more job ready and able to sustain employment, education or training.”

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