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Key sectors where employment has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic will receive support through the £25 million National Transition Training Fund.

The fund will support retraining projects for careers in areas particularly hit, including aviation, construction and tourism. It will also help with career transition into areas of the Scottish economy with most potential for future growth, such as digital and green technologies.

Some of the projects to receive a share the fund have been announced by Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn.

Projects to benefit include the Digital Start Fund which assists those on low incomes or in receipt of benefits to gain digital qualifications and enter the labour market.

It also includes a project jointly delivered SDS and Scottish Development International offering funding to businesses with innovative digital technologies to provide bespoke in-house training.

Mr Hepburn said: “The pandemic has had significant impact on our economy and we know this is a worrying time for people. We will continue to do everything we can to protect jobs and ensure that people faced with redundancy can get back to work as quickly as possible.

“The National Transition Training Fund plays a key role in this and is targeted at those who have either lost their job or are at risk of redundancy as a result of COVID-19. It will help up to 10,000 people across Scotland retrain and develop the skills they need to secure their future employment.

“Crucially, this fund will not only help those working in sectors most affected by the pandemic and whose livelihoods are at risk, it will also support people to take advantage of jobs available in growth areas of the Scottish economy, which will help us in our transition to net zero.

“As we recover from the pandemic, we must create a stronger, more resilient, sustainable economy. Ensuring people have the right skills to futureproof their careers is crucial in achieving that goal.”

The fund is administered by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and is delivered by a mix of private training providers and colleges. 

Katie Hutton, Director of National Training Programmes at SDS said: “The National Transition Training Fund is playing an important role in helping more people access jobs in the growth areas of our economy.

“This benefits not only those individuals who are gaining new skills to get back to work, but employers in key sectors who are able to recruit from a larger pool of talent.

“Together with other measures such as the Young Person’s Guarantee and the Flexible Workforce Development Fund, it will help our economy emerge as strongly as possible from the pandemic.”

James Dunphy, Director of Access, Learning and Outcomes at the SFC said:

“The National Transition Training Fund will be a crucial part of Scotland’s economic recovery from the effects of the global pandemic. It will also provide a significant skills boost to Scotland’s industries of the future. Colleges are well positioned to help deliver the priorities the new fund seeks to address, and they will have the full support of the Scottish Funding Council in doing so.”

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