A NEW partnership has been launched to support young people affected by the closure of the Longannet power plant.

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) is working in partnership with the Fife Employment Access Trust (FEAT), a social enterprise and charity, to create the Coalfields Worx Programme.

Following the closure of the plant in 2016, the programme aims to help young people living in affected communities who are facing barriers to employment into work.

The scheme will offer paid training, with participants undertaking a range of environmental maintenance jobs, coupled with skills and qualification development and support to move into employment, education or training.

Nicky Wilson, a Scottish CRT trustee, said: “Since Longannet power plant closed four years ago, many young people in surrounding areas have struggled to find work for various reasons.

“Our new programme with the Fife Employment Action Trust will help young people, especially those facing specific challenges, find and retain work by building their skills, qualifications and confidence, while they earn money.”

The Coalfields Worx Programme will develop a quality programme that gives those who are furthest from the labour market a pathway into work by improving their employability prospects and ensuring they have the skills to stay in work when they do find employment.

CRT is the lead organisation for the programme, which already has a supervisor and three employees in place, and is also the primary funder, with Community Job Scotland and Fife Council also making a contribution.

Key features include a realistic working environment, assessment and guidance before, during and after the programme, core skills training, formal study towards nationally recognised qualification, personal development and a weekly wage and incentives.

The nature of the work will vary with the seasons, with gardening tasks including hard pruning and weeding will be carried out in winter.

Spring will see a focus on such activities as community maintenance and external decoration of private property and high street hanging baskets, sponsored by local shops, will be installed in the summer.