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Funding of more than £400,000 has been awarded to a group developing a youth workforce in Argyll.
The Developing Young Workforce (DYW) Argyll regional group will receive £422,213 from the Scottish Government to support its work with employers, colleges and schools.
At a careers and jobs fair in Lochgilphead Joint Campus, Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Employability and Training, officially launched the group.
Mr Hepburn said: ‘I am delighted to launch the Developing Young Workforce (DYW) Argyll regional group which will help to drive forward the creation of a world-class vocational education system to reduce youth unemployment in the area.
‘I would encourage businesses to take time to find out more about DYW Argyll so they can understand the crucial role they can play bridging the gap between education and industry.’
Chairwoman of DYW Argyll Jane MacLeod, of MacLeod Construction, said: ‘I am delighted that the private sector in Argyll and Bute, with the support of local Chambers of Commerce, Argyll College UHI, Argyll and Bute Council, Business Gateway and HIE, submitted a successful bid to the Scottish Government to fund DYW Argyll.
‘The local initiative echoes the vision of the Argyll and Bute Economic Forum whose report highlights the importance of tourism, food and drink production and aquaculture. DYW Argyll aims to develop further the strong entrepreneurial tradition of this area to form sustainable partnerships between the private sector and all areas of education, in particular, schools and colleges.
‘To secure our vision for Argyll and Bute, we need to stem the population drain, encourage young families to take up residence in the area, encourage school leavers to remain in the area, and encourage students to move to the area to study and then remain here to work.’