South Ayrshire nails it! Scottish first as new adult learning project is launched

A ground breaking nail care training centre has just been launched at Newton Primary School in Ayr to help boost employability skills among parents.

Photo: Cllr Toner, Cllr Rita Miller, Cllr Douglas Campbell and Emma

In a first for Scotland under the Developing Young Workforce (DYW) initiative, the enterprise has been set up to help promote learning but for the parents rather than pupils.

South Ayrshire Council has been working with the Prince's Trust and DYW to bring about the landmark project to help parents aged 19-24 with children at the school.

Photo: David Smith DYW, Cllr Toner, Walter Smith Princes Trust

A total of around £4,000 has been invested in the scheme by the three organisations which has funded a fully equipped nail care facility, initially providing training for up to ten parents.

Not only will the participants become proficient nail technicians which could help them in the jobs market, but a range of SVQ qualifications will also be available through Ayrshire College, to improve their skills even further.

Given the high demand, all ten places have already been snapped up and the training which runs until June of this year is just getting underway.

Luckily for the parents taking part, there are plenty of willing volunteers at the school to practise on from pupils and members of staff to other parents.

The parents are excited to be taking part in the project:

Stephanie who has a daughter in P1 said: “This is a brilliant idea. I can learn to do nails and then pamper some of the elderly folk in the community”

Emma has already been on a course but wants so learn more: “This training covers pedicures and manicures which are skills employers are looking for”

Angela is on the parent council at the school: “ Not only am I learning, but I am getting out the house and having some adult time, which means a lot”

Councillor Margaret Toner, Lifelong Learning Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: “This is an exciting project and proves that our schools have an important role to play encouraging learning in the wider community.

“We already have similar schemes running for pupils and I am sure adults will also find the experience to be extremely rewarding. This is an opportunity for our young parents to achieve new skills and gain in confidence too. I wish all the participants the very best of luck.”

Fiona McAvoy, Newton Primary Head Teacher said “This innovative project will not only provide significant development opportunities to the young mothers participating but also provide a community focus, as well as enabling our parents to more fully support their children by building greater self-assurance in literacy and numeracy.”

The cheques with the funding from the Prince’s Trust and DYW were presented to the school by David Smith DYW Ayrshire and Walter Smith, Prince’s Trust Ayrshire Chair.

David Smith, said “We are absolutely delighted to support such an innovative project and are very impressed by the speed of implementation and early involvement of the young people.”

Walter Smith said: “The Nailed It @ Newton project will significantly enhance both the customer service and communication skills of the young people which are very attractive to potential employers “

The school in partnership with the Prince’s Trust and DYW is also looking to introduce other ventures for parents such as a bike maintenance centre.

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