Media Release: Housing Minister pays visit to SmartLiving


MINISTER for Welfare and Housing, Margaret Burgess, has visited SmartLiving which provides practical employability skills for young people.

SmartLiving (run by LinkLiving part of the Link group) was awarded £168,000 from the Scottish Government’s People and Communities Fund to develop a course which gives young people practical employability skills through volunteering in Falkirk and Fife.

The 12-week course is aimed at young people between the ages of 16 and 25, and helps with skills such as preparing a CV, public speaking, understanding job adverts and completing application forms.

On completion of the course, each young person has the opportunity to become a volunteer Peer Educator with SmartLiving or to take advantage of other volunteering opportunities (such as working with older people, gaining retail experience, carrying out administration tasks in an office environment) or to undertake further training to help achieve their goals.

Young people who volunteer with SmartLiving benefit from one-to-one practical and emotional support and access to accredited training.

The new skills they develop and the experience they gain through volunteering is crucial in today’s job market.

SmartLiving has an excellent track record of supporting young people to take the next step towards a job. In 2012, 13 young people gained employment whilst 21 young people continued with volunteering or pursued further training.

Irene Blackburn, LinkLiving Volunteer manager, said:

“We are delighted that the Minister was able to spend time talking directly to young people currently working with SmartLiving and hear from them how the employability course and ongoing support is helping them take the next step towards a job.”

Housing Minister, Margaret Burgess, said:

“The Scottish Government believes that developing employability skills is a key element to preventing homelessness and improving tenancy sustainment among our young people.

“SmartLiving is a valuable way to give young people employment training and foster a keen, enthusiastic workforce. We have made significant progress in supporting more young people into jobs in the past 18 months, through a range of policies taken forward by the Scottish Government and its partners.

“Schemes such as this are helping to truly harness the skills and enthusiasm of Scotland’s young people for a prosperous economic future.”

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Contact: Alison Spence