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Employment Initiative Helps 70 Per Cent of Participants Find Work

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A back to work scheme in West Lothian has helped boost employment in the local area.

West Lothian’s Big 50, an initiative launched earlier this year in partnership with The Centre, Livingston, West Lothian College and Jobcentre Plus has been heralded a success after figures reveal 70 per cent of all participants are now in employment.

Created to celebrate Livingston’s 50th anniversary, the initiative provided 50 West Lothian residents with valuable employment training. This included an intensive two week course run by West Lothian College as well as work placements with retailers within the Land Securities owned shopping centre.

Following a gruelling interview day, which saw more than 100 residents apply for the scheme, a final 50 was selected to undertake one of three training sessions. Now, more than six months on, all 50 participants have completed the initiative, with 70 per cent employed in a range of permanent and temporary roles in and around The Centre.

Retailers involved in the scheme including Primark, Rare Café, Next and Wilkison.

Vicci Dunne, store manager at Wilkinson in Livingston, commented: “We were more than happy to help with West Lothian’s Big 50 Initiative.

“Wilkinsons is committed to supporting the local community and schemes, such as this, offer us the opportunity to really make a difference in people’s lives.

“The work placements and inductions we provided were great learning and development exercises for those seeking employment in the area. It is our hope that they will be able to utilise the skills they learnt with us, for future opportunities.”

Centre Director James Bailey said: “We were determined to mark the 50th anniversary in a big way and we have certainly achieved our goal.

“To have 70 per cent of participants now in employment is a fantastic achievement and highlights the hard work and determination of those who took part. The feedback has been very positive and it’s definitely something we will look at rolling out again.

“We would like to thank all retailers for taking part and also West Lothian College and Jobcentre Plus for their commitment to the scheme.”

Assistant Principal of West Lothian College, George Hotchkiss, said: “Initiatives such as West Lothian’s Big 50 are vital in assisting people within the local area gain a new and valuable skill set which will improve their employability.

“I applaud all who completed the course and I am delighted that the scheme has helped get so many participants into employment.”




Note to editors:

Land Securities is one of the UK’s leading real estate investment trusts. Its Scottish portfolio comprises four retail parks and four shopping centres including:

  • Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow (a joint venture with Henderson Global Investors).
  • The Centre and extensive retail warehousing developments in Livingston.
  • Livingston Designer Outlet (joint venture with Morley).
  • Bon Accord-St Nicholas Centre in Aberdeen (joint venture with British Land).
  • Overgate shopping centre, Dundee
  • Kingsway West retail park in Dundee.