Addiction Worker Training Project pilot to provide opportunities in Dumfries and Galloway

Category: United Kingdom

Dumfries and Galloway is to host a local pilot of an award-winning training and employment project for people who have a history of substance use issues.

The Addiction Worker Training Project (AWTP), run by Scottish Drugs Forum, supports, trains and prepares people with a history of drug or alcohol problems to work in the social care field.

Over a period of nine months, AWTP trainees will be supported to achieve a recognised qualification in Health and Social Care while working in placements in local services.

Many of the trainees accepted onto the course have experienced multiple barriers to employment – a lack of qualifications, limited work experience, historic criminal convictions or simply low self-esteem and a lack of confidence in their own abilities.

As well as developing skills and confidence, the trainees also receive an intensive package of personalised support and a weekly wage.

Since 2004, out of the 249 people who have started on the course, over 90% have completed, with over 85% securing further meaningful employment, the majority to full time jobs in the health and social care field.

Although the AWTP has been running in areas in the East and West of Scotland for the last 15 years, this is the first time that the programme has expanded to provide opportunities to people in Dumfries and Galloway.

Jackie Davies, Dumfries and Galloway Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) Coordinator, said:

“Dumfries and Galloway ADP recognises that enabling individuals with lived experience of drug and alcohol problems to access training and employment is a crucial part of an individual’s recovery. The ADP’s funding of Scottish Drugs Forum’s Addiction Worker Training Project will help the trainees to build confidence, break down barriers to employment and reduce stigma around people with drug and alcohol problems.

“Dumfries and Galloway’s workforce will also be enhanced through employing people with lived experience which will benefit future service delivery, whether in the drugs and alcohol field or social care.”

David Liddell, SDF Chief Executive Officer, said:

“We are delighted that Dumfries and Galloway ADP are funding an expansion of our Addiction Worker Training Project. Since the programmes inception in 2004, we have been keen to provide as many people as possible the ability to benefit from the life-changing opportunities that the project provides.

“Over the years, our experience elsewhere in Scotland has been that above 80% of those graduating from the paid employment programme go on to work in either addiction services or the wider social care services. The programme therefore not only benefits individuals, but also local services seeking to recruit motivated and skilled workers.

“Dumfries and Galloway has specific challenges due to its geographic scale and widespread population, and therefore the pilot will seek to demonstrate how we can effectively engage people in rural locations to access the project and take the first steps towards employment with a future long-term career in helping others.”

In order to develop the project in the area, SDF are looking to recruit Coordination and Development Officer whose role it will be to support trainees throughout the course of the pilot.

Applications are currently being taken and more details can be found here.

The closing date for applications is the 1st of April 2019 at 12 noon.

Recruitment for the AWTP trainees will begin in August, however people who are potentially interested are encouraged to contact Scottish Drugs Forum on 0141 221 1175 or email enquiries@sdf.org.uk to register their details.