Education and Training funds case study – Kyle Waddell
Growing numbers of Scottish communities are setting up dedicated Education and Training grants programmes across Scotland, thanks to community benefit funds provided by the renewable energy sector and onshore wind farms.
Foundation Scotland has been able to support the distribution of more than nine hundred of these grants, and earlier this year, the amount of Education and Training funds that we have distributed exceeded an impressive £1 million, since the first fund was established in 2015. These funds have been specifically set up to support individuals with costs that are a barrier to accessing college or university or to cover expenses for training programmes and skills improvement that help them enhance their employment opportunities.
One such grant was awarded by the Burnhead Moss Education & Training Fund (BMET), which is provided by EDF Renewables, to 20-year-old Kyle Waddell, who lives in Limerigg, in Falkirk. Kyle wanted to be a full time HGV Driver but was having trouble raising the funds for the courses he needed to take. He applied to the BMET fund and received over £3,000 to pay for two driving courses. Kyle is now in demand as a fully qualified HGV Driver.
Kyle Waddell said, “The support I’ve received from this fund and from Foundation Scotland has been brilliant – absolutely life changing. I’ve received two grants in total. The first award paid for the fees for my HGV Class 2 driving course, which at over £1500 I just couldn’t have covered myself. The course was fantastic, and I was able to get a full-time job driving lorries straight away. Then earlier this year I applied again, this time to cover the costs of the advanced course which I am due to start soon.
“The funding has changed my life. I love my work so much but without the fund and Foundation Scotland’s support, it just wouldn’t have happened. I’d encourage other people to go for it, the process was really straightforward, and my career prospects are much better now I’ve done these courses. I’ve not looked back.”
Foundation Scotland will continue to support and promote these localised education and training opportunities, as the majority of those who have been awarded funds would otherwise not have been able to access support to further their career goals. This untapped talent lives in every community, and this type of fund is helping individuals and communities to flourish and grow.