Scottish Charity Gets More People from North Ayr into Full Time Employment, More into Vocational Training, and More into Further and Higher Education

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Scottish economic regeneration and employment training charity Access North Ayr today reports that in its latest financial year 2003/4 it has helped 133 people in North Ayr to find a job, 65 to get an SVQ, and 14 to get into Further or Higher Education. In addition, 366 people actively took advantage of the facilities in ANAÂ?s Flexible Learning Centre, which this year gained Learndirect Scotland accreditation.

Scottish economic regeneration and employment training charity Access North Ayr (ANA) today reports that in its latest financial year 2003/4 it has helped 133 people in North Ayr to find a job, 65 to gain an SVQ, and 14 to progress into Further or Higher Education. In addition, 366 people actively took advantage of the facilities in ANA’s Flexible Learning Centre, which this year gained Learndirect Scotland accreditation.

At ANA’s Annual General Meeting, Access North Ayr chief executive Bill Munsie said: “We aim to tailor our service to meet people’s individual needs. Every individual has their own particular challenges to meet when they get involved in learning, and barriers to overcome to improve their employment prospects. ANA has a wide range of activities to offer something to everyone who wants to improve their skills and employability. ANA is committed to making sure that everyone in North Ayr receives, as near as possible, exactly the support they need to get them either into a first job, or a into better job if they are already employed.

“Too many people in Ayr North, while wanting to work, still need that extra bit of support to help them achieve their goal. Providing this support is what ANA is here to do, and this continues to be what drives us.”

Nearly 2,000 local residents are registered with ANA to improve their job opportunities by increasing their skills and work experience. In the past decade, over 1,500 local people have got a job with ANA’s support, leading to better prospects for them, their families and the local community as a whole.

Nationally, nearly 75% of adults aged from 16 to 65 have a job. But in Ayr North, only just over 40% of working age adults are in employment.

The focus of ANA’s activities over the past few years has changed to reflect developments in the labour market. Locally and nationally the levels of registered unemployment are at a historical low, while the number of people in work is higher than ever. In Ayr North registered unemployment continues to fall. But the major challenge that ANA now faces is working with the large number of people locally who want a job and are unemployed, but not registered.

Bill Munsie says: “For someone in this situation, maybe not having worked for years, if at all, there is no ‘quick fix’. It can take months to help people find a job. In some cases it will take years. ANA targets people in this situation using our OutReach Team. Our approach is - if people don’t come to us, we will go to them. We then have to make sure ANA offers an effective way to link people to jobs. We design our activities to make sure that we can support anyone living in Ayr North who wants a job to get one, no matter what barriers and challenges they will need to overcome on the way to achieving this goal.

“We also need to recognise the impact of the ‘benefits trap’. When a person who is unemployed finds a job, often this results in a marginal tax rate of 95%. This means that for every extra pound they earn, 95 pence is clawed back in lost benefits and increased living costs. The Economy Theme Group established by the Ayr North Social Inclusion Partnership (ANSIP) is looking at local responses to this.”

Chairman

Access North Ayr chairman Macdonald Ure commented: “All of us at Access North Ayr are acutely aware that our funding is due to be reduced over the next few years. However we are all exerting every possible effort to increase our income from commercial activities to more than compensate for this.

“I am certain that if we all continue to work together, in the way that we have already shown that we can, Access North Ayr will stride from strength to strength in our pursuit of more economic regeneration and social inclusion for our local community.”

Success story

Over 1,500 local residents over the years have taken advantage of Access North Ayr’s support to find either a first job, or a better job if they were already employed. One success story amongst so many is that of William Boyle, who spoke today of what he has achieved, and how Access North Ayr has played a part in that success.

William Boyle said: “Before joining Access North Ayr in February 2003, I had previously worked as a removals man for 11 years. Due to ill health I was forced to resign from that job, and thought my working days were over, as I had little or no experience in any other field. The staff at ANA were terrific in helping me to regain my confidence, and guiding me with their expertise in jobsearch and interview techniques. Following 12 months on a training programme, during which I gained an SVQ in IT Systems, plus certificates in First Aid, Quad Bike Instructing, PAT Testing and minibus driving, ANA secured for me a job placement with a local tenancy support firm that later led to full-time employment. In short, ANA have given me a new lease of life, and I fully encourage anyone who thinks as I did to get in touch with ANA at the John Pollock Centre, and have a look at what’s available. The help and the opportunities are there.”

A further selection of success stories is appended to this release.

Access North Ayr

Access North Ayr was formed in the autumn of 1998, and aims to improve access to job opportunities for all residents of the North Ayr Social Inclusion Partnership (SIP) who are either currently involved in, or wish to join the labour market, by developing the necessary skills and other personal qualities.

Access North Ayr carries out this aim through the provision of relevant vocational guidance, training, work experience, childcare and other appropriate support.

This brings economic benefit not only to these individuals and their families, but also to North Ayr as a whole.

Working with its partners, the Ayr North Social Inclusion Partnership, South Ayrshire Council, Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire, the JobCentre, Colleges and the local community, ANA is making a key contribution to building a better future for Ayr North.

Access North Ayr covers the districts of Whitletts, Braehead, Dalmilling and Lochside.

Website:

http://www.anayr.org.uk

-ends-

Issued on behalf of Access North Ayr by Fame Publicity Services. Contact Murdoch MacDonald. Telephone: +44 (0)1292 281498.

Photographs attached.

Bill Munsie

Chief Executive

Access North Ayr

John Pollock Centre

Mainholm Community Campus

Mainholm Road

AYR KA8 0QD

Telephone: +44 (0)1292 294311

Fax: +44 (0)1292 294314

E-mail: bmunsie@anayr.org.uk

Fame Publicity Services

10 Miller Road

AYR, Ayrshire

Scotland KA7 2AY

Telephone: +44 (0)1292 281498

E-mail: FamePublicity@aol.com

Website: http://www.famepublicity.co.uk

Web links to this release on other sites:

http://www.famepublicity.co.uk

http://www.pressbox.co.uk/Detailed/17003.html

Web links to highlights of the year:

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2004/8/prweb151087.htm

http://www.pr-scotland.com/releases/040823-02.htm

http://www.pressbox.co.uk/Detailed/16918.html

http://www.pr-scotland.com/releases/040301-02.htm

http://www.pr-scotland.com/releases/040219-03.htm

http://www.pr-scotland.com/releases/040319-01.htm

http://www.pr-scotland.com/releases/040526-14.htm

http://www.pr-scotland.com/releases/040812-01.htm

http://www.pressbox.co.uk/Detailed/15297.html

http://www.pressbox.co.uk/Detailed/16658.html

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Access North Ayr chief executive Bill MunsieAccess North Ayr chief executive Bill MunsieLeft to right: Access North Ayr chief executive Bill Munsie with his senior management team - Lesley Ness, Janet Grant Wilma Thomson, and Colin McKee.Left to right: Access North Ayr chief executive Bill Munsie with his senior management team - Lesley Ness, Janet Grant Wilma Thomson, and Colin McKee.Highlights of the year (1): Access North Ayr's Flexible Learning Centre receives the coveted accreditation as a Learndirect Scotland approved learning centre.Highlights of the year (1): Access North Ayr's Flexible Learning Centre receives the coveted accreditation as a Learndirect Scotland approved learning centre.Highlights of the year (1): Access North Ayr's Flexible Learning Centre receives the coveted accreditation as a Learndirect Scotland approved learning centre. Learndirect Scotland chief executive Frank Pignatelli (left) presents a plaque commemorating the recognition of Access North Ayr’s Flexible Learning Centre as an approved Learndirect Scotland learning centre to Carol Munro (centre), the Flexible Learning Centre’s senior IT tutor, and Access North Ayr chief executive Bill Munsie.Learndirect Scotland chief executive Frank Pignatelli (left) presents a plaque commemorating the recognition of Access North Ayr’s Flexible Learning Centre as an approved Learndirect Scotland learning centre to Carol Munro (centre), the Flexible Learning Centre’s senior IT tutor, and Access North Ayr chief executive Bill Munsie.Highlights of the year (2): Access North Ayr gains SQMS awardHighlights of the year (2): Access North Ayr gains SQMS awardLearndirect Scotland chief executive Frank Pignatelli presents the SQMS award to Access North Ayr Job Link manager Wilma Thompson.Learndirect Scotland chief executive Frank Pignatelli presents the SQMS award to Access North Ayr Job Link manager Wilma Thompson.Commenting on this latest accreditation, Access North Ayr’s Job Link Manager Wilma Thompson said: “Achieving Scottish Quality Management Systems accreditation shows that we are on the right road to making a difference to the quality of life of people in North Ayr, at the same time as working towards becoming more financially self-sufficient and less dependent upon grant aid. I salute the tireless efforts of every single member of the Access North Ayr team, who working together have made this latest achievement possible.” Highlights of the year (3): Access North Ayr and East Ayrshire Council work together to achieve environmental targetsHighlights of the year (3): Access North Ayr and East Ayrshire Council work together to achieve environmental targetsHighlights of the year (3): Access North Ayr and East Ayrshire Council work together to achieve environmental targets. Highlights of the year (4): Protecting the planet - Ayrshire charity leads the wayHighlights of the year (4): Protecting the planet - Ayrshire charity leads the wayA profile of Access North Ayr chief executive Bill Munsie.A profile of Access North Ayr chief executive Bill Munsie.A profile of Access North Ayr chief executive Bill Munsie by Murdoch MacDonald.A selection of success stories from Access North AyrA selection of success stories from Access North Ayr