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Venture Trust to lead the way in new European employment partnership

Venture Trust’s expertise in outdoor learning has resulted in the organisation being selected as the expert partner for a European consortium that will use the outdoors to get young people into work, education and training.

The "From Outdoors to Labour Market” Project (FOLM) is being led by the Centre for Innovative Education and includes partners from Poland, Spain, Ireland and Scotland. FOLM is funded from a £3,028,775 (€3,400,000) grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and the Norwegian Grants Fund for Youth Employment.

The multi-national project will aim to give nearly 1000 young people not in education, employment or training – from Poland, Spain and Ireland – the skills and opportunities through innovative outdoor learning to develop life and professional skills to find and sustain employment.

Venture Trust has decades of experience delivering a community and wilderness-based model of personal social development for young people in Scotland. Outdoor activity and experiential learning techniques are used as a mechanism for building confidence and raising aspiration. The organisation has supported thousands of young people to gain the personal skills, motivation and confidence that has allowed them to move towards employment, training and education.

Venture Trust’s expertise in providing support to disadvantaged young people, and the programme’s proven results will be used to help those individuals who are disengaged from the labour market across Europe.

Venture Trust’s head of operations, Mike Strang said: “Venture Trust has now been working in the outdoors with vulnerable groups for more than 20 years. We have a distinctive and unique approach. Venture Trust supports individuals to develop the skills to become more employable and enjoy more stable lives. The outdoor element is a key part of our programme, but it produces great results because we weave community engagement and ongoing support into our offer, and that is what produces sustainable outcomes.”

“Venture Trust will work with The University of Edinburgh to produce a theoretical model based on the way we deliver our programmes and provide shadowing and training for the project’s partners in Spain, Ireland and Poland.”

This “Model for social and personal growth through outdoor learning” will be the blueprint for FOLM’s methodology.

The Centre for Innovative Education (CIE) has recognised the expertise Venture Trust brings to its work with young people in Scotland and approached the organisation to lead the ambitious project.

“By supporting the FOLM project Venture Trust can share learning and extend the reach of our work by enabling partners to work in a meaningful way with hundreds of young people not in education, training or employment in wider Europe,” Strang said.

“Our programmes continue to contribute to a progressive society here in Scotland and now we are delighted to be able to extend that approach to European partner countries.”

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