Loanhead After School Club has plenty of memories in its 20th anniversary year including a change of name.
Last month Annabelle Ewing, the Scottish Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment, visited LASC Childcare Services to meet staff and Community Jobs Scotland employees, in particular Kelsie McGregor.
Sixteen-year-old Kelsie, from Loanhead, has become the 6,000th young unemployed person to find a job through the scheme, working as a play work assistant.
LASC Childcare Services provides an after-school club, nursery, and breakfast and holiday clubs for children in Loanhead, Rosewell and Roslin, managed entirely by parents living in the area.
Run by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Community Jobs Scotland creates paid jobs for young unemployed people in charities across the country.
Kelsie said: “I really enjoy it here in the nursery and I am looking forward to starting my level 2 in childcare.”
Irene Hogg, head of establishment, LASC Childcare Services, added: “Community Jobs Scotland has been a great success at LASC Childcare Services.
“We have had a number of placements gain a permanent contract with ourselves after CJS has finished. Candidates have also carried on to complete formal qualifications with LASC and are now looking at long-term careers in childcare.”
SCVO chief executive Martin Sime said: “Community Jobs Scotland is a real success story because it gives young unemployed people the chance to make a valuable contribution to their community, at the same time as earning a wage and developing new skills.”
Ms Ewing said: “Since 2011, the Scottish Government has supported Community Jobs Scotland to perform an exceptional role in supporting young people to develop employability skills and gain valuable work experience. To have 6,000 unemployed young people undertake job training through the voluntary sector in that period of time is remarkable and I would like to congratulate the SCVO for their hard work, and of course Kelsie for securing her new job.”
Meanwhile, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale MSP visited Loanhead Community Learning Centre to mark St Andrew’s Day.
During her visit she announced Scottish Labour Party plans to establish a Fair Start Fund to invest in nursery education for children being left behind.
“Using the new powers coming to Holyrood, we would increase the top rate of tax to 50p for those earning more than £150,000. This money would be used to set up a Fair Start Fund – where £300 each for nursery children from the poorest families will be given directly to nursery heads to invest in closing the gap between the richest and the rest,” added Ms Dugdale.
LASC Childcare Services marked its birthday in recent months with a family ceilidh, a garden party and a glitter ball.
When set up in 1995, the after-school club started with six children and registered two staff. Now the service boasts 37 staff and 656 children registered in 14 different projects.