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Minister sees Park construction training project in action

23rd July 2012

MINISTER for Youth Employment Angela Constance visited today (Monday 23rd July) a successful training project for young unemployed people in the Cairngorms National Park aimed at getting them into employment.

The Cairngorms Construction Training Project, which has been set up by a range of different partners, provides training and qualifications for trainees aged 16-24.  The 14 trainees spend three days a week at Inverness College coupled with work experience at a range of community projects in the Cairngorms National Park for the other two.

The project is now in its third year and is providing much needed opportunities for young people in the National Park.  The Highland Small Communities Housing Trust (HSCHT) is behind the project, with a dedicated project officer working with the young people. On successful completion of their training, they receive a National Progression Awards through Inverness College.

Ms Constance attended the Highland Folk Museum in Kingussie, where the trainees are working with museum staff on the refurbishment of the Boleskin shinty pavilion from Foyers, which was damaged by German bombs during World War Two.

Ms Constance said: “Scotland’s young people have much to offer local employers and the communities in which they live and those in the Cairngorms area are no different. The work the National Park Authority is doing with Inverness College will open up a range opportunities, and could transform the lives of many young people in the north of Scotland.”

Fraser Cardow, project manager at the HSCHT, said: “This exciting project has evolved over the last two years, and HSCHT are sure that with the increased number of stakeholders on board and working towards supporting and improving the project, the project will deliver significant increased benefit for the young unemployed and the communities they live in, along with the wider social and economic spin off this will bring to the CNPA area.”

The project brings together a range of different partners including the Cairngorms National Park Authority, LEADER, Scottish Government, The Highland Council, Inverness College, Cairn Housing Association, HSCHT and Henry Smith Charity.

Convener of the Cairngorms National Park Authority David Green added: “Making the Cairngorms National Park a viable, attractive place for young people to live, work and enjoy is an ongoing priority for everyone involved in the future development of the Park.

“The Cairngorms Construction Training Project is making a significant contribution to this having helped to enhance employment opportunities for those taking part; providing high quality, recognised training over the last two years; and improving the overall environment of the Cairngorms National Park on the projects they have worked on.”

Previous projects have included decorating Insch Church Hall; fencing and gardening work at St. Vincents Hospital in Kingussie: and bridge, path repairs and undergrowth clearance works on the Wildcat Trail at Newtonmore and former trainees have gone onto full time employment, set up their own businesses and further training.