This free half-day SURF Awards workshop event in the Glasgow Women’s Library, Bridgeton, Glasgow on 16th July provides an opportunity to explore successful approaches towards tackling barriers to employment facing young people in Scotland. The winning and highly commended projects from the ‘Youth Employability’ category highlighted in the 2019 SURF Awards process will provide comment on their experiences and transferable learning.

SURF and the Scottish Government work together to identify and highlight excellence and innovation in initiatives that address social and economic challenges in disadvantaged communities through the annual SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration.

Workshop guests will firstly hear from a project representative from the ‘Youth Employability’ category winner Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Achieving the Right Transferable Skills for Todays Job Market! The project aims to help young people bridge the gap between education and employment, by supporting them to develop skills and experience to make positive and sustainable next steps.


This will be followed by input from the ‘Youth Employability’ highly commended Young Enterprise Scotland’s Pathways Programme.  Based in Rouken Glen Park and operating across Greater Glasgow, the project looks to inspire and support disengaged 14-21 year olds from disadvantaged communities into formal education or employment, using a mix of classroom learning, practical training and work experience opportunities.

Finally, guests will then hear from the third of the ‘Youth Employability’ highly commended projects Community Renewal Trust’s Employment Safety Net. Operating in Edinburgh the project engages with school-leavers aged 14-24, who are disengaged from learning, training, work and support services, in a holistic employability programme.

The event will close with Skills Development Scotland providing detail on their current priorities towards supporting individuals and organisations to help people enter or return back into training and employment. Followed by a short input from the Scottish Government Employability Team looking at the role they play in developing employability policy and delivery of services in Scotland. It will then open up to a discussion on National Policy.

The SURF Awards ‘Youth Employability’ judging panel team – comprising representatives of Skills Development Scotland, WorkingRite, the DRC Youth Project and the Third Sector Employability Forum – were particularly impressed by the commitment to engaging with disconnected young people and the flexibility of the approaches taken by the projects to meet the needs of each individual young person.

This workshop will be delivered with support from Skills Development Scotland.


10:00am   Welcome and Coffee

10:30am   Introduction: Andy Milne, Chief Executive, SURF

10:40am   Presentation, Achieving the Right Transferable Skills for Todays Job Market!:  Melanie McEwan, Dumfries and Galloway Council

10:55am   Presentation, Pathways Programme: Emily Bennett, Young Enterprise Scotland

11:05am   Presentation, Community Renewal Trust’s Employment Safety Net: Jon Mennie, Community Renewal Trust

11:15am   Open Discussion, Questions and Comments with representatives from the projects

11:35am   Presentation, Skills Development Scotland: Ian Bruce, Skills Development Scotland

11:45am   Presentation, Scottish Government: Steven Turnbull, Employability Team

11.55pm   Open Discussion on National Policy

12:25pm   Summary, Thanks and What’s Next: Andy Milne and Emma Scott, Information, Communications & Events Officer, SURF

12:35pm   Networking Lunch

About the SURF Awards

Please visit  for more information on the SURF Awards and the outcomes of the 2019 process.

Check back the website or follow us on Twitter @SURFscot or Facebook – SURF for information on how to apply for the 2020 SURF Awards, which launch on Thursday 4th June and close for applications at 5pm on Monday 7th September.

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