Investment for vital projects to tackle poverty and inequality.
Councils across Scotland are set to benefit from almost £13m of funding to tackle poverty in communities across the country.
The money, made up from a combination of £5m of European Social Funds (ESF) and match funding from local authorities, will be targeted to projects that combat poverty and promote equal opportunity.
The First Minister made the announcement as she visited Project Search, an initiative delivered by the local authority in Renfrewshire designed to get young people with autism and learning disabilities into employment.
Speaking during the visit, the First Minister said:
“This government’s clear focus on tackling inequality is at the forefront of all we do, and this funding will play a hugely important part in our efforts to eradicate it from Scotland’s communities.
“In Renfrewshire alone ESF is providing nearly £400,000 which, when matched by funding from the local authority will come to around £1m. This will benefit a range of projects and provide much-needed support in areas such as debt management, childcare and housing support, and well-being services.
“Project Search is an excellent example of how the money is being invested in traineeships to get people into work.
“This is another example of how our membership of the EU has a real and lasting impact on the lives of Scots from every walk of life.
“We are working hard to ensure we continue to remain within Europe to enjoy these hugely vital and worthwhile initiatives.”
Kieran Kelly, who attended Project Search and went on to secure a job at a charity that tackles disability hate crime, said:
"The experience I had with Project SEARCH overall has been life changing. The work experience that I had has given me new experiences to learn new skills and allowed me to do things I have never done before. The classes were really interesting and fun and gave me the confidence to try new things.'
Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “Renfrewshire's Project Search is about helping our young people to harness their talent, achieve their potential and find the sustained employment that changes lives. “It is a clear example of a successful programme making a real difference on the ground and part of our innovative approach to tackling poverty. “By equipping young people with the skills and experience they need to thrive in the workplace, we are giving them a solid foundation for long-term employment and making it less likely they will face financial hardship. "It also helps employers by ensuring that our area has a pool of people they can draw on to help their businesses prosper and grow."
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