Dundee and Angus College and Women’s Business Station team up for skills-boosting initiative

A new collaboration aimed at reskilling and upskilling hundreds of women has been announced in Dundee.

Dundee and Angus College says that by teaming up with Women’s Business Station as an “empowerment partner”, it will deliver training and qualifications through various six to eight-week academies covering everything from hospitality and digital to manufacturing and engineering.

Participants are set to not only gain accredited qualifications but also gain exposure to local businesses generating a range of opportunities from interviews and placements to employment.

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The training opportunities will kickstart next month with an English as a Second Language course, and around 15 women from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, part of Women’s Business Station’s Aspiring Women programme, will participate. The first two in a series of academies will launch soon after, focusing on digital and hospitality.

Women’s Business Station launched in 2019 and says it has since boosted the local economy by more than £10 million, while it is currently supporting more than 500 women from across Dundee, Angus, Perthshire and Fife.

Its chief executive Angie De Vos said: “By joining forces with the College, we can take our efforts one step further within the supportive environment we’re known for. As well as enjoying a more accessible transition into further education, [participants will] gain a new perspective on the world of work, whether setting up their own enterprise, carving a brand-new career, or progressing onto higher education.”

Caryn Gibson, business partnerships manager at the College, added: “We are extremely proud to be partnering with Women’s Business Station… While supporting the female community as they take the next step, we will not just create tangible change for the women, but shape a high-calibre, robust workforce to fill the skills gaps and invigorate our economy.”

From left: Caryn Gibson, Angie De Vos and Marieam Adghaim. Picture: Shonagh Kelly.

The partnership has been welcomed by Kelly Fairweather who, together with her husband Paul, owns The Selkie and Edna Mae in Dundee’s Exchange Street. She said the collaboration “will not only support women to start new careers but also help create that steady, ready-made workforce which businesses like ours so desperately need”.

One of the women hoping to take part in the hospitality academy is Marieam Adghaim, who is from Libya and now lives in Dundee with her family, and says such training would help her take her ambitions “to the next level”.

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