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Home > News > August 2006 > 18 August 2006

'Experience Counts' receives further funding

An initiative that aims to bring older workers back into learning will continue to receive Scottish Executive funding until 2008.

The Experience Counts initiative provides tailored learning programmes for over 50s with the aim of raising confidence and allowing learners to acquire new skills.

Through the programme, Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) collaborate with employers and learning institutions to provide 'bite size' or taster courses dependent on employer and worker needs.

The programme is running in three phases - this announcement represents the second phase and sees four SSCs receive £224,000 to deliver a range of activities from enhancing the continuous professional development of staff in Scottish Colleges to the development of an older colleague mentoring programme in the transport sector.

In addition, a further £56,000 is being made available for further projects in the third phase of the programme with the application process for funding to start soon.

Deputy minister for enterprise and lifelong learning Allan Wilson said: "We are living longer, we are working longer and the world is moving fast. So it's vital that learning opportunities are available to meet those changing needs.

"Learning shouldn't end when we close the school or college door - it should be a genuinely lifelong experience. That is why I am delighted to announce this funding which will continue to benefit workers over the age of 50 as well as the organisations they work for and the Scottish labour market as a whole.

"Experience Counts ensures that older workers can be competitive in the modern workplace. By combining older workers' wealth of professional experience with new knowledge and skills development we can further Scotland's commitment to a world-class professional environment."

A reported total of £500,000 was made available for the Older Learners' Programme over the three financial years 2005/06, 2006/07 and 2007/08. Around half of this was allocated to three SSCs in January this year as part of the first stage of the programme. The remainder of the funding will be made available for the four SSCs taking part in the second phase as well as Stage 3. A further £56,000 will also be available for the third stage.

Training courses will be provided by Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) in collaboration with further education colleges.

Three SSCs have taken part in the first phase of the programme:

  • Lantra, which represents land-based industries
  • Skillsmart, which covers the retail sector
  • Skills for Logistics, which covers the freight logistic industries

A further four SSCs have successfully secured funding from Stage 2 of the Programme:

  • GoSkills which covers the passenger transport sector
  • SEMTA which covers science, engineering and manufacturing technologies
  • Lifelong Learning UK which covers Further Education, Higher Education, Libraries and Archives and Information services
  • People 1st which covers hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism industries

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