People from all walks of life are set to benefit from the first South Ayrshire Community Learning and Development Plan which was approved by South Ayrshire Council's Leadership Panel last week. The plan focuses on improving the lives of people of all ages through learning and personal development.
Councillors commended the level of partnership work which has taken place to develop the plan and are keen to build on existing good practice which is delivering some excellent programmes to support young people, adults and community groups across South Ayrshire.
The plan will build on the success of some key projects such as:
A youth theatre programme in Maybole which uses drama to help young people get back into learning. The Council worked closely with the Gaiety Partnership, schools and the Carrick Centre to implement the project. So far, 14 young people have been through the programme and are now re-engaging with schools.
Skills Development Scotland and Volunteer Action South Ayrshire have just started a new volunteering programme for adults. The Council and other partners will help raise awareness of the programme, which helps build skills and confidence especially for those looking to get into the jobs market.
175 adults have undergone industry-recognised training which is being delivered in Ayr, Maybole and Girvan by Ayrshire College, Scotland's Rural College and other training providers. The training not only helps personal development but can also help build a career too.
The plan has four main themes. The first is to ensure people are skilled, confident and successful in accessing employment. So there will be projects looking at internship opportunities for young people as well as sector based work academies.
The second theme is to help our children and young people have the best possible life chances. Projects will be delivered that build and support positive relationships through family learning and help young people with the transition from primary school through to adulthood.
The third theme is to ensure people enjoy the best possible health and inequalities are reduced. Projects include outdoor learning, healthy lifestyles and fitness support, with a focus on peer education programmes.
The fourth theme focuses on communities being stronger and safer, so projects include volunteering opportunities and developing Personal Safety Groups which includes safe driving for young people.
Councillor Margaret Toner, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning said: "I am delighted that we are set to build on all the hard work which is taking place to support people and communities across South Ayrshire. Whether it's getting people into employment or boosting skills and development there are lots of ways we can help. So many organisations have joined together not only to develop this plan but to deliver projects that are making a real difference to people."
The plan will be reviewed every three years to ensure that communities are supported to be stronger, resilient, supportive and more influential.