Ten-week programme looks to help unemployed find new directions

Cooking classes could be on the menu for the New Direction programme in Bo'ness
Cooking classes could be on the menu for the New Direction programme in Bo'ness

A new programme is hoping to get up and running in Bo’ness which will offer help to unemployed youngsters in the area.

New Directions is a ten-week free programme that aims to build the confidence and skills of unemployed people in Bo’ness from the age of 18 and above.

Community learning and development workers, Ryan Topping and Catriona Morrison, are hoping to find ten unemployed school leavers who are unsure what career they want to pursue.

Ryan said: “This ten-week programme will be free and will focus on developing skills that will help the youngsters find employment or at the very least help them find the direction they want to go in with their career.”

The CLD workers, both based at Bo’ness High School, had previously tried to get the initiative going back in May however were unsuccessful in their attempts.

Ryan said: “The people we are looking to help were not finding the information and unfortunately it meant the programme had to be pushed back until we can find at least six people interested in joining us.

“We spoke to the Job Centre who assured us there are people in the area who would be interested in the scheme so we will hopefully have enough applicants this time around.”

Figures this month show in the Falkirk area there is 2150 people claiming unemployment benefit. The figure is down ten per cent compared to 2015 but means there is still plenty of residents who could benefit from attending New Directions.

According to the DWP the number of unemployed young people in the Falkirk area, those aged 18 to 24, fell by nine per cent from last year and currently stands at 480.

The programme is primarily aimed at people who may be low on confidence, stuck in the house and not really know what they want to do with their life.

Ryan said: “People who suffer from mental health issues are welcome as well. It will be a small group where you will be given the chance to meet new people and boost your confidence.”

New Directions will run from July and will give people the chance to learn and improve a variety of skills.

Ryan said: “We will run outdoor classes, cooking, filming, music and more.

“At the moment we are focusing on getting the numbers. Once we have enough interested people we will begin planning the classes.”

Both Ryan and Catriona will be organising the weekly classes however if needed they can call on some experts to further boost the experience.

Ryan said: “We have plenty of contacts if we need to call in experts for any reason.

“If someone is really interested in a subject we will try our hardest to make sure they have the best experience.

“Already the people of Bo’ness have been fantastic at offering their services if we need them.

“There is a strong community spirit in Bo’ness where everyone is very helpful so hopefully people will start to discover what we have on offer.”

New Directions already has two people interested in taking part and spaces are limited.

Anyone interested in learning more about the programme or thinks they know someone who could benefit should call Ryan and Catriona on 01506 778550.