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By adapting how it delivers services, Falkirk Council’s Employment & Training Unit (ETU) has ensured more than 800 people continue to gain employability skills during lockdown.

Working with training partners and third sector organisations, ETU has replaced face-to-face sessions with virtual learning and phone support to keep 823 people aged 15 to 67 on track with their training.

Supporting young people

The team currently works with young people in the Falkirk area who aren't destined to follow the traditional path into Higher or Further Education on leaving school. 

ETU found a work placement during lockdown for Modern Apprentice Sarah Robinson (pictured), who is now working at Denny Cross Medical Centre.

The 19-year-old, who has been engaged with ETU for 8 weeks prior to being offered employment, also began studying for her MA Qualification in Business and Administration in May 2020.

Finding work in lockdown

Even with the job market in turmoil the team has continued to help people find work.

In the past eight weeks, four ETU clients have secured jobs and three have completed work experience training and are now working with Falkirk Council as Modern Apprentices in Business Administration.

Currently the 39-strong team support a wide range of people, from those looking to gain qualifications so they can enter or progress into a new sector or change career, to those in need of more tailored training and intensive support with their health, wellbeing and finances.

Because the team often help people overcome significant barriers in their lives, they increasingly become someone to lean on during difficult times.

ETU Manager Sarah McCulley said:

“Sometimes we’re the only person clients hear from on a regular basis and that’s become even more apparent during lockdown. People speak to us about their anxieties and the challenges they face and we’re able to put them in touch with the right support. That’s an important part of what we do.”
“Although jobs are thinner on the ground at the moment we’re still putting people forward for interview in sectors such as food, retail and health and social care. Other sectors however are struggling, and we’re starting to get training and support enquiries from people who are currently furloughed and worried about redundancy. These enquiries are only going to increase over the coming months.
“That means competition for jobs will become fiercer than ever and people will be willing to do jobs they’d never have considered in the past. That’s why ETU had to adapt quickly, offering new ways to engage with our services to ensure clients are in as a strong a position as possible to look for work once restrictions ease.”

To find out about the services ETU offer: