Scheme to help more young disabled Fifers into work

The scheme helps young disabled people into work

Young people in Fife with learning disabilities are being helped to set up their own small businesses from today.

It is in a bid to get more disabled people into work.

At the moment, only around 5% of Scottish adults with learning difficulties are in employment, while the national employment rate is around 75%.

They are now being supported by the Co-operative (Ad)venture project, which gives disabled people skills and confidence by helping them work together operating 'co-operative' business projects.

The scheme is based on the 'Young Co-operatives' project operated in schools around the UK, including Madras College in St Andrews, where pupils set up a garden themed business selling bulbs, as well as planters, bird boxes and feeders.

Simon Parkinson, Chief Executive and Principal of the Co-operative College, said: "This adds another project to our growing portfolio of work to empower young people and inspire the next generation of co-operators. 

"For too long, those with learning difficulties, disabilities and autism have been overlooked by employers. 

"By working with the community and local co-operatives, this is a problem that we will be tackling head on to ensure that everyone has access to the same opportunities."

The scheme is being run in partnership with the charity ENABLE Scotland, which helps people with learning disabilities.

Jamie Rutherford, Director of Employment at ENABLE Works, said: "We know that very few people with a learning disability in Scotland are in employment. 

"We also know that young people with additional support needs leaving school are twice as likely to be unemployed and low skilled. 

"Therefore this project will offer a unique opportunity for young people with learning disabilities to engage with local co-operatives and the communities they live in to improve their skills and their chances of gaining employment."

More from Local News