Access to Industry works with individuals to support them into education and employment. We believe that our work delivers real transformative change, assisting individuals to overcome personal difficulties that impede their progress.
We do this through programmes and courses that provide one-to-one support, group-work, tutored classes and work experience. Our aim is to facilitate access to further and higher education, training and employment.
Our programmes and courses develop essential core skills such as communication, ICT (Information and Communications Technology) and problem solving. We offer individual support that aims to alleviate wider personal barriers.
We are a registered charity governed by our Board of Directors. Our directors set the strategy and ensure we are properly run and meeting our purpose.
We have a board with diverse experience including education, finance, justice, HR and employability. Our board is led by Chair, Angus Whyte.
Leadership: Access to Industry has a management structure that is led by two Co-Chief Executives: Adele Hill and Sally McGreevy.
Access to Industry was established as a charity in 2000. Initially the creative industry sector provided the focus for our programmes but through time we expanded the remit of our work as well as our geographical reach.
Our history and development inform the content of the programmes we offer today. We are pleased to offer a broad range of opportunities to anyone eligible, regardless of background or age. We have increased our professional skills and knowledge by supporting unemployed people with particular needs, whether they are in recovery from substance misuse, have an offending history, experience of homelessness, or require support for their mental health.
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Originally operating from the Wester Hailes area of Edinburgh we expanded across the East of Scotland as we developed further education ‘Access Courses’. These were designed to encourage people unlikely to access mainstream college courses - without a bit of additional support - to apply for and then retain a college place.
In 2003 we began to develop a specialism in supporting the specific needs of people in recovery from substance misuse. Part of this specialism was delivered in one-to-one support but also in ensuring our programme of activity enabled routine building and the opportunity to grow both in confidence and academic qualifications. Our in-house ‘community’ college was born at this point and our partnership to deliver this with (now) Edinburgh College. Our name changed to Access to Industry.
In 2006 we began development of another specialism, supporting people with an offending history. We offered an innovating employability ‘through-care’ support system initially to young men from HM YOI Polmont being liberated to areas in the central belt of Scotland, and subsequently to adults being liberated from HMP Edinburgh and to women offenders.
As an organisation we continue to develop opportunities for people who are unemployed and who face barriers to employment.