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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 February 2008, 16:42 GMT
Brown praises Raith training move
Gordon Brown
The prime minister is a lifelong Raith Rovers fan
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has praised the role of his favourite football club in helping youngsters acquire skills for employment.

Raith Rovers is one of several Scottish clubs taking part in programmes aiming to help the unemployed develop skills.

Mr Brown said that if the scheme was extended across the UK, 5,000 people could be helped back into employment.

Raith Rovers is one of several local employers in Fife taking part in a "support employment" scheme.

Support employment

The club is football coaching two recruits to teach them the "soft skills" valued by employers, such as team work, communication, and motivation.

Mr Brown told a lunch in his Kirkcaldy constituency: "The support employment programme is a vital way of giving people confidence so they are able to take up job offers when they come along."

He said other clubs taking part included Dundee, Dundee United and Falkirk.

Mr Brown said: "In this area, 136 people on the scheme now are mostly in work or ready for work as a result of it.

"Throughout the whole of the UK, if we got all the football clubs involved, then several thousand people, perhaps 5,000, could be employed as a result of this programme alone."

Raith Rovers is not only employing apprentices but running midnight football schemes which I think could be replicated across the UK
Gordon Brown

Mr Brown was speaking at a lunch to mark the achievements so far of the scheme in Fife, where it was launched last November.

The event was also to mark the progress of "local employment partnerships," in which job centres and local employers help prepare benefit claimants for work.

Mr Brown said: "Raith Rovers is not only employing apprentices but running midnight football schemes which I think could be replicated across the UK, getting kids off the streets and into playing sport rather than possibly vandalism and anti-social behaviour."

"The fact that Raith Rovers is now in the Support Employment Scheme is something that I think is vitally important."

SEE ALSO
PM sets out training benefit plan
15 Feb 08 |  UK Politics
Tories plan 'work for benefits'
08 Jan 08 |  UK Politics

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