Shetland Bike Project Wins National Praise

by Alastair Hamilton -

A Shetland business that helps young people get back on track has been recognised Scotland-wide for its efforts in supporting youth employment.

The Shetland Community Bike Project has been named Skills Development Scotland's Youth Employer of the Month. The award was presented to the bike project for its role in providing employment and volunteering opportunities for young people facing barriers to work including mental health, drug or alcohol-related issues.

Project Manager at the Bike Project, Caroline Adamson, said: “It feels great to be recognised with this award and it will hopefully raise more awareness of what we do here. Many people think we are just a bike repair shop but we are so much more than that. The young people we work with have some challenging issues and need a lot of support but it is so rewarding to see them develop and make a positive contribution to the business. As an employer you get out what you have put in and it is great to see the young people come out the other end of their experience ready for employment.”

The bike project currently employs five young people with the aim of helping them to develop essential employability skills, such as team work and time keeping, as well as hands-on experience in the repair shop.

The project also helps young people with a range of training opportunities tailored to what they want to do, which have included first aid and driving lessons.

SDS Careers Coach, Alison Williamson, said: “The Shetland Community Bike Project is a fantastic local resource to support young people facing barriers into employment. It provides them with an opportunity to get some paid work and get their life back on track. We work closely with the project and have referred some of our customers to Caroline who is always keen to meet and tell them more about what they can offer.”

Chairman of SDS, John McClelland CBE, added: “I would like to congratulate those involved in the Shetland Community Bike Project for showing an outstanding commitment to supporting youth employment in their local area. It shows that no matter how large or small a business is, it can make a difference and help young people into work.”

The Shetland Community Bike Project has a Facebook page and there's more information about it, and about the Youth Employer of the Month Award, at http://www.ourskillsforce.co.uk/attracting-new-talent/youth-employer-of-the-month/

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