Looking ahead, in 2016-17 we aim to:
Support military veterans
Operationally we will build momentum, to establish links and relationships with a number of organisations who work with veterans. These will be key not only with regard to referring to Positive Futures and Living Wild but also in providing volunteering, training or employment progression opportunities. We will use our partners to help us with raising Venture Trust staff awareness and potential training. We will look to launch a peer mentoring component which will also be important in supporting veterans in their development, connecting with local services and in combatting isolation. As this is a demonstration project, there will be a significant focus on evidencing impact and independent evaluation coupled with shared learning and wider communication.
Expand our employability, training and internship provision
Venture Trust is developing employability opportunities in the form of hosting traineeships within Venture Trust or our social enterprise Venture Mòr, and brokered external work placements hosted by a partner agency in the business or social enterprise sector. In conjunction with corporate partners and working closely with the ‘Business in the Community Scotland’ network, Venture Trust will enable individuals to experience different workplace environments. We will look to provide 4 traineeships taken up by participants within Venture Trust/Venture Mòr, and 12 placements brokered by Venture Trust with external organisations taken up by participants. Pilot concepts have been developed with the aim of enabling individuals to develop employability and vocational skills within a range of sectors including rural land management and conservation, tourism and hospitality. The pilots will combine personal development with vocational training, to better prepare participants for work within relevant sectors. Our ambition is to establish tailored approaches with employers to have co-developed programmes ready to secure investment in 2017-18. We will endeavour to deliver one vocational training pilot, benefiting 10 participants. Venture Together is an innovative employability programme delivered jointly with a corporate partner that provides skills such as interview techniques, simple budgeting and personal presentation, alongside a residential conservation weekend. We will endeavour to deliver two Venture Together programmes reaching 20 Venture Trust participants.
Develop new business
With an increased scale of confirmed activity already in place for 2016-17, the emphasis is upon enhancing our provision to generate greater impact by enabling individuals to make and sustain positive changes in their lives, crucially to move towards training or employment. Venture Trust will continue to seek partnerships with socially responsible organisations who aspire to make a difference in the lives of young people and adults, creating opportunities for co-delivery and enhancement of all activities.
Expand and fine tune the provision of our social enterprise
Venture Mòr continues to achieve sound progress both in growing trading figures, and in its increasing profile and reputation. We are drawing nearer to becoming sustainable in terms of delivering our social purpose, and trading at a level to support running costs associated with Hartfield House. The key aspiration for 2016/17 is for Venture Mòr to maintain its positive growth trajectory and customer satisfaction. Working in partnership with the Applecross Trust, we will complete the exterior upgrade of Hartfield House, and the access road. We will raise the profile of Venture Mòr, and by extension Applecross, as a destination via social media, targeted marketing and PR activities. We will also launch intensive wilderness therapy provision aimed at young adults from across the UK, struggling with challenges of transition to adulthood.
Invest in our staff
Venture Trust’s staff and the quality of the work they deliver are central to realising successful outcomes for people in need. We will look to deliver a programme of training and development to invest in capacity and capability, particularly in mentoring support, managing staff and delivering employability provision. We will further develop our SQA provision capability and capacity to offer more opportunities for particpants. We will endeavour to attract pro bono opportunities to bring in external expertise and knowledge to accelerate development of Venture Trust’s strategic aspirations. Finally we will develop and implement an induction programme and policy which supports accelerated development and ongoing continuous professional development of new staff.