BIG Issue vendors in Scotland are to be given the chance of employment training after a deal was struck between the magazine and one of the country’s biggest social enterprises.
The partnership means KibbleWorks – the job creation and training wing of the Paisley-based Kibble Education and Care Centre – will also now distribute The Big Issue magazine, in Scotland.
Begins a spokesperson: “Scots Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney made the announcement last night (Tuesday) at a reception on the eve of the Social Enterprise Policy and Practice annual conference, in Glasgow.
“As well as delivering 455,000 copies of the magazine a year to drop-off points in towns and cities up and down the country, KibbleWorks will service the Big Issue’s outreach programme, which supports the sellers.
“KibbleWorks will also work with The Big Issue to create new opportunities for vendors and widen the magazine’s reach across Scotland, so even more unemployed, homeless and vulnerable people can sell the magazine and earn money.
“And the organisation will market the Big Issue to community groups, charities and voluntary organisations, who can raise funds by purchasing magazines at wholesale price to sell on to their members and supporters.
“This will create work for homeless, unemployed and vulnerable people servicing these groups.”
Mr Swinney said: “Social enterprise plays a distinct role in meeting Scotland’s employment challenge by helping the most disadvantaged individuals to reach their full potential and play a full role in society.
“This is one of the reasons why the Scottish Government is committed to supporting the development of social enterprise across the country as part of an enterprising third sector.
“Both Kibble and The Big Issue have already make a significant impact in their own right, but the added value generated by this new collaboration will help transform the lives of many more people.”
KibbleWorks general manager, Jim Mullan, said: “The right people in society will win out of this deal.
“They are the 60 young people between the ages of 16 and 24 to whom we presently give employment training and who can now work on The Big Issue contract. And there are also the magazine vendors themselves who can access that training and gain experience of other types of work to help them into the jobs market.
“Initially, we will take on an extra four trainees and Big Issue vendors will receive their training at KibbleWorks, in Paisley. However, we will quickly set up training opportunities with similar organisations to ourselves throughout Scotland.”
Big Issue chair, Nigel Kershaw OBE, said: “We are hugely enthusiastic to be entering into partnership with Kibble, who share our mission of a ‘hand-up not a hand-out’ and our commitment to create opportunities and work for vulnerable people.
“This partnership reinforces our core business objective by providing ongoing support to Big Issue vendors, it helps us to develop training and employment opportunities for vendors and vulnerable people, and finally, offers community and voluntary groups across Scotland an opportunity to generate cash so they become less reliant on grants.
“What could be a better partnership? The creation of work lies at the heart of everything we do, and working with Kibble will mean we can create even more opportunity for even more people right across Scotland.”
Kibble chief executive, Graham Bell, said: “This partnership is a good example of the collaboration needed within the social economy that leads to benefits for all in society.
“Kibble is always looking for new ways to give young people the opportunity to play a positive role in society.”
Issued by Macdonald Media on behalf of Kibble Education and Care Centre. For further info contact Norman Macdonald on (o) 01505 816980 or (m) 07958 648814.
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