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The first projects to receive a share of the new £25 million National Transition Training Fund have been unveiled by Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn.

Among the first to receive support are projects within key sectors of the Scottish economy that have suffered the most from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, including aviation, construction and tourism. The fund will also help people take advantage of the jobs available in future growth areas, such as digital and green technologies.

Speaking as the projects were announced, 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, more sustainable economy. Ensuring people have the right skills to future proof their careers is crucial in achieving that goal.”

James Dunphy, Director of Access, Learning and Outcomes at the Scottish Funding Council, 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.”

Katie Hutton, Director of National Training Programmes at Skills Development Scotland (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 Pathway Apprenticeships, the Young Person’s Guarantee and the Flexible Workforce Development Fund, it will help our economy emerge as strongly as possible from the pandemic.”