The County You Live, Work And Play
NLC Jobs Scheme
North Lanarkshire has received a significant boost over the last few years thanks to a council initiative that assists both job seekers and local businesses.
The North Lanarkshire’s Working programme was set up during the recession when unemployment was at an all-time high, and is turning lives and businesses around as a result. North Lanarkshire Council set themselves the ambitious target of helping 5,000 people in the area find work over a three-year period.
Securing employment for local youngsters was a priority and the Youth Investment Programme was set up and organised as part of North Lanarkshire’s Working in 2012. Since then, they have helped more than 5,000 unemployed people (many of them young) find employment, which has also led to a boost for the local economy.
NLW are also committed to helping new and existing businesses grow through a co–ordinated package of advice, recruitment support and targeted grants and loans.
Bellshill–based KD Doors are just one of the local companies who have been able to expand thanks to the backing of NLW.
Director Mark Keel said: “We've been trading for 15 years and we have 23 people working here just now.
“Our business has increased by 30 per cent in the last year and we are looking to increase by the same again this year.
“We have a mix of youth and experience, which balances out well.
“Young people are massive for our business moving forward. They bring a difference of opinion.
“A lot of people here have been in the industry for a long time, we have people here with over 20 years experience.
“But a young person walking through the door has different ideas, which adds something to our business and helps us move forward.”
NLW work with companies in North Lanarkshire on a case-by-case basis to tailor a package of support for their specific needs.
Linked to the programme, businesses can receive advice and support through our Business Gateway service and the Council’s regulatory services. Where eligible, business can also receive support from our range of grants and loans to help them to develop and grow through the West of Scotland Loan Fund, the Business Growth Fund, Town Centre Business grants and the Small Business Bonus Scheme.
There is also a wage subsidy of up to 50 per cent available when hiring a young employee – one aspect of the initiative that has been invaluable for businesses like Mark’s.
He said: “The reason North Lanarkshire’s Working works is that they give fantastic advice, they give support with recruitment, we pre–screen all the candidates.
“But, critically, they also give us 50 per cent towards wages, which is invaluable with regards to helping with training and building foundations.
“We have recruited 21 people through the NLW programme and 75 per cent have either stayed here, moved on to further employment or went to University.
“I think that's real success. They've gained key skills and social skills and they've become fully qualified tradespeople.”
Mark, himself, started out on a Youth Training Scheme at Wills Cigarette Factory as a youngster. And he fully backs the idea of giving today’s youth a chance and helping them into employment through NLW. He added: “At KD Doors, we care about the young people who start here because we were all young at one time and we know how difficult it is.
“If I was sitting talking to someone who was thinking of taking on a young person, I would say ‘don't hesitate’ – it's been a massive success for KD Doors.”
Are you a business owner or would like to find out more about the North Lanarkshire’s Working programme? You can visit their website for more details here.