Apr 11 2012
A scheme which uses cash from the proceeds of crime to fund personal development programmes for disadvantaged teenagers has been launched by the Justice Secretary.
Kenny MacAskill introduced the Personal Development Partnership, funded by the Scottish Government's CashBack for Communities programme, at Motherwell FC's Fir Park stadium.
The scheme helps young people "on the cusp of offending" or involved in anti-social behaviour to develop skills that enable them to gain employment, or enter further education or training.
The £1.6 million initiative for 14-19 year olds targets young offenders, looked-after children, school leavers and young people already involved in drug or alcohol abuse.
Young people will be given tailored development programmes such as vocational training in the car industry, retail, the restaurant trade, sport and youth work, working in the community or outdoor activities. The programmes are run by Prince's Trust Scotland, Venture Scotland and Venture Trust.
Mr MacAskill said: "Organised crime brings misery to individuals and communities. It is only right that cash confiscated from criminals is put to use improving lives, increasing opportunities for youngsters and keeping them out of trouble.
"CashBack's Personal Development Partnership takes young people away from bad choices, providing good opportunities for them to turn their lives around, access employment, education or training and become a credit to their communities.
"This Government has invested over £45 million of criminals' cash and helped improve the lives of over 600,000 youngsters through our CashBack programmes, while supporting and turning around communities worst hit by crime and anti-social behaviour."
Heather Gray, director of the Prince's Trust, said: "The range of programmes the partners provide, combined with a dedicated positive destination adviser means young people receive a truly bespoke progression plan.
"The launch of the hub at Motherwell Football Club is great news for North Lanarkshire and I know that all the partners are looking forward to supporting even more young people."