Employability minister stops off at ng homes project

Jamie Hepburn SOHKMinister for employability & training, Jamie Hepburn MSP, visited ng homes’ Pitstops personal development project this week to see first-hand the success of the initiative.

Pitstops is a Big Lottery-funded partnership project between ng homes and social inclusion charity School of Hard Knocks, which uses contact sports and peer inclusion to engage with unemployed and detached members of the community.

Staff have overseen the personal growth and development of 55 participants over three cohorts, with the average age of participants being over 30, something which is unusual for projects of this type.

The eight-week personal and social development course combines physical fitness and rugby training with employability support to help participants take steps into work or other positive destinations such as higher education, volunteering and healthy living.

Participants can also attain the SQA Employability Award and Community Achievement Award, as well as a number of optional additional qualifications including First Aid and REHIS Health and Safety. These awards are delivered by ng homes’ education delivery partner Glasgow Kelvin College.

During his visit to the Ashfield Peugeot Stadium the minister met with ng homes director of regeneration John Devine, Pitstops project manager Greg Cann and chief executive of School of Hard Knocks Ken Cowen.

Project participants and graduates also took part in a consultation group along with a brief of the project from key project staff.

Chief executive of ng homes, Robert Tamburrini, said: “We’re delighted to be hosting this visit for Mr. Hepburn which will provide the Minister with the opportunity to hear more about the Pitstops project, including meeting some of the participants that have been involved.”

Greg Cann added: “All of our participants have shown a personal commitment to making a positive change in their lives, which have included gaining employment, places at college, volunteering in their local communities or simply continuing some form of physical activity. The visit allows us to showcase the programme but it also allows participants to be recognised for these achievements.”

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