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Chamber and committees

West College Scotland’s Your Employability Skills (YES) Programme

  • Submitted by: Russell Findlay, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.
  • Date lodged: Friday, 17 February 2023
  • Motion reference: S6M-07918

That the Parliament commends West College Scotland, which has campuses in Paisley, Greenock and Clydebank, and its Your Employability Skills (YES) programme; understands that the YES programme is available to people with criminal convictions, experience of the criminal justice system, and experience of homelessness; further understands that YES is an eight-week personalised learning programme, designed to help participants overcome barriers into employment and education, and to achieve a positive and lasting impact on their lives; believes that YES creates structure within its participants' lives, giving them the opportunity to meet new people and build relationships, helping to strengthen their inclusion in the community and to work collaboratively with others; understands that participants are encouraged to research, practice and model leadership traits in order to understand, take responsibility for and learn from the impact of their past behaviours; further understands that the college supports YES students to look for employment and gain SQA qualifications, and offers additional online support to enhance literacy and numeracy skills; notes what it sees as the positive impact of experiencing college life and the further education environment on YES students; commends West College Scotland and its principal, Liz Connolly, for what it considers to be an innovative course, which has been delivered to 100 people since being launched in September 2019; understands that 55% of YES participants gained employment, and 10% went into further education, after completing the course; further understands that YES provision was expanded in 2021-22 to include care experienced individuals and women who have been affected by domestic violence; understands that the success of YES has allowed the college to secure funding for a further two years, as of 2022; further understands that YES won the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Award at The Herald Higher Education Awards 2022, and the Essential Skills award at the CDN Virtual College Awards 2020; acknowledges that West College Scotland is one of Scotland’s largest colleges, with more than 20,000 students of all ages and around 1,000 staff delivering a diverse range of around 500 courses, part-time and full-time, every year, across seven local authorities, and believes that this is critical to tackling the skills gap, serving the needs of employers, and has great benefit to the wider local and national economy.

Supported by: Clare Adamson, Jeremy Balfour, Colin Beattie, Neil Bibby, Miles Briggs, Alexander Burnett, Sharon Dowey, Pam Duncan-Glancy, Kenneth Gibson, Maurice Golden, Pam Gosal, Jamie Greene, Craig Hoy, Liam Kerr, Stephen Kerr, Bill Kidd, Douglas Lumsden, Ruth Maguire, Stuart McMillan, Marie McNair, Audrey Nicoll, Douglas Ross, Alexander Stewart, Paul Sweeney, Sue Webber, Annie Wells, Tess White, Brian Whittle