Partnership jobs and training pledge to counter impact of COVID-19

The Midlothian Community Planning Partnership has made a commitment to support local jobseekers caught up in the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Partnership pledge

Members of the partnership, which comprises representatives from Midlothian Council, a range of public agencies, colleges, voluntary organisations, business and community groups, have signed a pledge committing it to maximising efforts to support residents who are out of work or new to the jobs market.

Share opportunities

Partner organisations will share job and training opportunities online and with local job centres, Skills Development Scotland careers advisors, and employability service providers - including Midlothian Council, further and higher education providers, and private and third sector contractors.

Redundancy support

Help for those facing redundancy will also be signposted, through the PACE redundancy support scheme and other services. There will be a focus on providing help with interview preparation and practice, apprenticeships at foundation, modern, and graduate level, work experience places, mentoring, in-work learning and work shadowing schemes.

Skills and training

The partners will also collaborate in bids for external funding, where appropriate, to support skills development, training, employability and job creation schemes, and are also looking at ways of maximising community benefit when procuring public sector contracts.

Active travel

The employability pledge will support active travel, such as walking and cycling, as a viable option for those working or learning locally. Flexible employment opportunities, such as home working, job shares and flexible working patterns will also be promoted.

Reduce inequalities

The partners have also made a commitment to reduce inequalities and remove the practical, administrative and cultural barriers that many vulnerable people face in entering work.

Local response

George Archibald is CEO of the Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce, and represents the business community and private sector on the Midlothian Community Planning Partnership Board: 

“We recognise the pressing need for a local, as well as national response to tackle the devastating impact the pandemic is having on businesses, employment and our communities,” said Mr Archibald. “The partnership’s aim is to provide the fullest support possible to those facing redundancy, those who have already lost their job, or young people looking for a job for the first time.

Practical steps

“We want to take practical steps to support employers to retain staff, at the same time as looking at innovative ways of providing training, skills development, apprenticeships and other schemes to help local people find work.”

Economic renewal

He added: “Alongside the community planning partnership’s backing for the recently launched Midlothian Economic Renewal Strategy, the employability pledge commits us to providing the high level of local support local businesses and jobseekers need so badly at this time.”

Information hub

As part of the new initiative, the recently launched Locate in Midlothian website will act as a hub for much of the practical information jobseekers are looking for, including details of local job vacancies.  Expert advice and support for local businesses, or for those who want to set up or grow a business in Midlothian, is also available from the Midlothian Business Gateway team.

Locate in Midlothian

16 Jul 2020