A scheme offering homeless people and former drug addicts a chance to work with others in similar situations has proved successful in South Lanarkshire. Participants on the Connect 2 programme are given training, work placements and a recognised SVQ qualification.
More than 80% have gone on to secure jobs in homeless units, with drug support agencies and in care homes. The council said the course was also helping address the shortage of people available to work in social care.
During the six month programme participants also receive IT skills training and advice and support from a dedicated mentor.
Last year the UK government announced reforms aimed at getting more than a million people off benefits and back to work.
Peter Shiels, Connect 2 training co-ordinator, said: "The programme offers a recognised vocational qualification and work placement to help local people who have had difficulty accessing work opportunities.
"At the same time, it addresses the shortage of people available to work in the social care sector across South Lanarkshire. "The course is doing this by offering industry recognised training, ensuring a sustainable rate of pay and boosting job security."
Now thats a cool initiative.....