New Education and Training Fund available for Caithness residents

Source: press release, 26 January 2023

Eilidh Coll, Foundation Scotland Community Funds Adviser
Eilidh Coll, Foundation Scotland Community Funds Adviser (photo: Foundation Scotland)

Residents in Caithness can apply for grants of up to GBP 750 to help them increase their employment potential. RWE’s Camster Wind Farm Fund Panel has allocated GBP 30,000 to establish a new Caithness-wide Education and Training Fund.

This new funding comes on the back of some already established education and training grant programmes available in some Community Council areas, administered through grant making charity Foundation Scotland. These are: RWE’s Bad á Cheò Wind Farm Education and Training Fund, which made 21 awards over the past year and covers the community council areas of Latheron, Lybster & Clyth, Halkirk District and Watten; the Stroupster Wind Farm Education and Training Fund (Dunnet & Canisbay) which made 16 awards over the past year; the Tannach and District Wind Farm Education and Training Fund, which made five awards over the past year.

Residents of the above five community council areas can continue to apply as normal to their local funds. However, the newly established fund will help residents elsewhere in Caithness, so that they too can access support from wind farm funds for furthering education and training opportunities.

Under the new Caithness-wide fund, awards of up to GBP 750 will be made per training course. The purpose of the fund is to help individuals improve their employment potential. Bursaries can support a wide range of courses, including full or part-time courses and short vocational courses, for example Modern and Foundation Apprenticeships, NC, HNC, HND, undergraduate degrees, postgraduate qualifications (not PhDs), LVG/HVG licences and many others.

The fund has been kicked started with GBP 30,000 provided from RWE’s Camster Wind Farm Fund and now Foundation Scotland hopes that other donors will be encouraged to contribute additional funds. The aim is to build a Caithness-wide Education & Training Fund which sustains long into the future beyond the initial contribution.

Eilidh Coll, Community Funds Adviser at Foundation Scotland says, “Through this new fund, we will be able to offer support to people who otherwise might not be able to undertake a training course. The existing education and training funds have been operating for around 3 years and have helped many people achieve their goals and aspirations. The support has been wide ranging, and many individuals have used their bursaries to access a new career such as undertaking HGV training. Some people have sought to diversify their existing work, for example through a cheese making course which enabled a local crofter to bring their cheese making in-house, rather than having to outsource the service. Now funding from RWE’s Camster Wind Farm is going to make these kinds of opportunity are available to people across the whole of Caithness”