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A project helping young people with autistic spectrum disorder to access learning opportunities in the South of Scotland is to receive Scottish Government funding.

The Better Lives Partnership’s Bridge to Employment Project, supported by Skills Development Scotland (SDS), is one of 28 projects benefiting from more than £2.1million of Scottish Government funding through the South of Scotland Economic Partnership (SOSEP).

The project offers employability skills training, work experience placements and enterprise activities, and is receiving £275,000 of Scottish Government funding.

Phil Ford, Regional Skills Planning Lead for SDS, said: “The Better Lives Partnership will help young people with autism to acquire a range of skills to boost their confidence, and help them make successful transitions into education, training or employment.

“The project will also work with employers, schools, teachers and social workers to enable them to better understand the barriers these young people face, and to support their progression into positive destinations.”

Region of opportunity

The announcement comes as Team South of Scotland, comprising South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE), Dumfries and Galloway Council, Scottish Borders Council and other partners continue to work collectively to support the region to recover from Covid-19 and look to the future prosperity of the economy.

Welcoming the news of wider investment across the region, Chair of SOSE Professor Russel Griggs OBE added: “This milestone investment comes at a vital time to support our communities and businesses as they look to the future, as we move through the phases of the Route Map loosening lockdown restrictions. 

 “Our predecessor SOSEP worked extensively with a wide range of people and organisations to support their journey from application to approval. We have been able to support a diverse range of projects, each a response to the particular circumstances and opportunities of the South of Scotland, each ambitious for the future. 

“Today’s announcement confirms our commitment to continue to work with communities and businesses across the South of Scotland to support them in their aspirations. As we recover from the impacts of COVID-19, ensuring we remain a region of opportunity.”

Now more than ever it is vital that we support people and businesses as we recover from the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, restart our economy and continue to invest in the future of our local communities.

Minister for Rural Affairs Mairi Gougeon

Minister for Rural Affairs Mairi Gougeon added: “The Scottish Government is committed to developing the South of Scotland’s economy to its full potential. Now more than ever it is vital that we support people and businesses as we recover from the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, restart our economy and continue to invest in the future of our local communities.

“These investments will create jobs, support businesses, develop skills, boost tourism and contribute to town centre regeneration. Many of the projects will help key industries in the region which have been hit hard by the pandemic as they work to recover and grow. Others will develop local supply chains, skills and employment opportunities to help drive local and regional economies forward.”

Further information

Find out more about the investment in the South of Scotland.

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