1,000 signatures reached
To: Members of the public, local and national politicians
Save West Fife Enterprise
The staff at West Fife Enterprise are astounded and dismayed at the announcement of the threatened closure of the Charity, which has been providing help to our communities in Fife for 36 years.
Please sign this petition and get in touch with your local Councillor and MSP.
If you are an ex-trainee, please leave a comment.
Why is this important?
We are told that our client group is disappearing and that we are no longer financially viable. Although we do offer employability courses we also provide other valuable training and help to people in our communities.
Although the headline unemployment numbers for Fife and Scotland are at a record low. We know from experience that the realities on the ground are much bleaker than the statistics show, largely due to the roll out of Universal Credit.
We are now working with the most hard to reach client groups in Fife. The very long term unemployed. Lead carers who have not worked for years, as they were bringing up their children and were always under the radar. People recovering from drug and alcohol issues, homeless people, people with mental health issues, people on ESA and PIP.
Since the full roll out of Universal Credit in December 2017, the numbers having to actively seek employment and can benefit from our help has actually increased.
Youth unemployment is still sitting above 9% in Fife. At the end of 2017 the amount of 16 to 19 year olds who were not in education, employment or training was higher in Fife than anywhere else in Scotland.
West Fife Enterprise has always offered these young people an environment where they can learn, develop and successfully move into work or further education.
Over the past year we have been working with more single parents and lead carers who now have to seek employment. A huge part of this work is overcoming and helping this group who were largely isolated and ignored in the past, to look outward and to help them move on.
Our courses provide a new network of people and contacts for them. It builds their confidence and allows them to meet and interact with new people. It provides a very successful work placement programme, that results in a huge boost to their own confidence. This group have huge gaps in their employment history and have very little recent work experience. They are also very much IT novices and are struggling to cope with the new requirements UC puts onto claimants.
As part of the Scottish Governments “Fair Start Scotland”, contracts have been given to Triage and Working Links. Where they have people in Fife directed to them for up to 2 years by the DWP. The Scottish Government has allocated £96m for the delivery of this “employability” service across Scotland.
Once again private companies will profit whilst third sector companies like WFE and Gingerbread is face closure.
Below are some quotes from some trainees who attended WFE
• “I learned a lot from the course and my confidence improved. The tutor was very approachable and supportive. I am the way I am because I got somewhere to go, something to do”
• “Thanks to WFE, I am in a better place right now. I am actually doing what I want to do: getting out of the house, volunteering, seeing people”
• “The tutor’s support on the course was amazing. The agency is brilliant. They build people up again”
• “Change does not frighten me anymore. I now have a clear goal and the placement organised by WFE means the world to me. I do not want the journey to come to an end…’
• “Very sad news indeed , changed my career path for the better and has helped 100’s of people from our wee village alone”
• “I got my SVQ2 thru west fife enterprise then went on to college to do my HNC they helped so much with building up my confidence I hope this wee place can be saved”
• "This experience has been one of the biggest and best life changing opportunities I have ever had. I have grown so much in the last few months and I couldn't have done it without your unconditional guidance. You have set me up for the next chapter, thank you."
• “Just wanted to send you a quick e-mail to say thank you for all of your help and support. You really have gone the extra mile and it's appreciated more than you will ever understand. You have helped me so much and my family. That's me into my second week now and I'm really enjoying it. Still in training until end of this week. It's great being back in employment and feeling part of society again!”
The above quotes proves that WFE does much more than just employability and getting people into work. We help with isolation, confidence, we give people a purpose.