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Central Scotland Forest Trust (CSFT) has been awarded the Partnership of the Year at the Backing Falkirk’s Future Awards 2012 for its involvement in The Helix ILM (Intermediate Labour Market) project which has helped local youngsters to gain invaluable skills and experience which will positively influence their level of future employability.

The Helix ILM programme targets Falkirk’s disadvantaged individuals and provides them with the personal skills, experience and confidence to gain more permanent employment. Twelve young local people were initially engaged on a 12-month programme to deliver woodland management works in Abbotshaugh Woodland, including the creation and upgrade of paths.

The partnership - comprising of CSFT, The Helix, Falkirk Council’s Employment and Training Unit and Oatridge College – was also a finalist in the Economic and Employment Initiative of the Year category.

CSFT’s role in the partnership included the employment, management and supervision of the trainees through their initial employment and training period to deliver the programme on the ground. Falkirk Council’s Employment and Training Unit acted as the single source for all agencies’ funding brought to the programme and Oatridge College provided on and off-site training, enabling candidates to further their education with the achievement of a recognised Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) whilst gaining practical experience at the same time.

During the programme, which ran from October 2011, the apprentice numbers peaked at 25 as additional youngsters joined the team. Two supervisors, both of whom were previously unemployed were also recruited to work with the apprentices.

For further information see the CSFT website.