South Lanarkshire Wind Farm Helps Youth Gain Job at Local Dairy Farm

Banks Group Press releases

The fund provided the youngster with the necessary training, work wear and equipment to start his dream job

EWAN Finnie, a young local South Lanarkshire lad, has gained a job at a local dairy farm thanks to a fund generated by Banks Renewables’ Kype Muir wind farm, located south of Strathaven. 

The wind farm fund provided John Bryson and Sons at Dykehead Farm, Lesmahagow, with the resources to provide training, appropriate workwear and equipment for its newest recruit, Ewan Finnie.

Hamilton based employer, Banks Renewables’ Connect2Renewables initiative is a partnership with South Lanarkshire Council and the local community to help local people into work.

Farm manager William Bryson applied for financial assistance from the fund to take on Ewan. He has praised the support from the wind farm developers which has been a lifeline for the business, especially in the current climate.

Ewan Finnie said: “I really enjoyed the few months I spent on the transition programme. But when I heard about the opening at the dairy, which is just a few minutes’ walk from my house, I jumped at the chance.

“I have always enjoyed being outdoors so the chance to work and learn on the farm was just what I was looking for. I’m loving it so far. I’ve learned lots of new skills and really feel like part of the team.”

Ewan has become an asset to the dairy farm, working hard at all aspects of the job and has already proven to be a reliable member of the team.

Mr Bryson said: “I first became aware of the fund when a friend of mine from the council mentioned it to me.

“I already knew of Ewan and that he was looking for work. I had wanted to take him on for a while but he had no experience at all and would have required extensive training.

“It was because of this that I decided to apply for the funding which would help with training and the other basic necessities that Ewan would need to get started.”

Prior to starting at Bryson and Sons, Ewan was taking part in the South Lanarkshire Council Vocational Transition Programme designed to help young people into employment.

William said: “Taking Ewan on was a great decision and I’m very thankful to Banks for providing the funding which allowed us to do so.

“I have mentioned the incentive scheme to others in the area and would encourage anyone else to look into it. It’s been a complete win, win situation for us.”

Banks Renewables launched its Connect2Renewables Charter in 2014 with support from South Lanarkshire Council and local communities.

Councillor John Anderson, the chair of South Lanarkshire Council’s Community and Enterprise Committee, said: “The Connect2 Renewables grant is a fantastic initiative breathing new life into the very heart of our communities.

“I am always delighted to hear of all the success stories and hope that Ewan Finnie will enjoy his career move into farming at his local dairy.

“A local lad being employed in a local job is really what the grant is all about – benefitting every aspect of the community within the windfarm development area.

“I look forward to hearing more of the success stories that this fantastic initiative will bring to the area in the years to  come.”

Robin Winstanley, sustainability and external affairs manager, Banks Renewables said: “We are proud of our partnership with the council and local people which ensures that members of the community can benefit from the renewables developments we have close by.

“We are delighted to have been able to help Ewan Finnie secure this job. We wish him the very best of luck in his new job and look forward to helping many more from the community into work.”

The fund, which has helped over 300 people so far, helps provide flexible and responsive employability support to local people, covering everything from upskilling and reskilling, to assisting people with training, employment and education.

Over the first five years of Kype Muir’s operation a minimum of £2,500 per MW per annum is being placed into an employability initiative administered by South Lanarkshire Council for the benefit of the communities of Strathaven, Stonehouse, Lesmahagow and Sandford and Upper Avondale. This fund has been created to help provide opportunities for local people to gain workplace learning placements aimed at improving their employment credentials

Please contact Wilma Weir, at South Lanarkshire Council, via the Council switchboard 0303 123 101, if you are interested in applying for this fund and think you might be eligible.    

The Connect2Renewables Employability initiative is funded from a proportion of the community benefit funds from Middle Muir Windfarm, Crawfordjohn and Kype Muir Windfarm, Strathaven. The purpose of the fund is to help people living within 10km of either windfarm into employment by providing the following:

Learn new skills / re-train

Get employability advice and support

Overcome transport challenges – help with travel to work, training or childcare

Who is eligible for help?

People who are workless or unemployed who live within 10km of either windfarm.    

Towns and villages within 10km radius of Kype Muir Windfarm:

  1. Abington
  2. Coalburn
  3. Crawford
  4. Crawfordjohn

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