Employability Fund

What is special about this course?

This national training programme, which is sponsored by Skills Development Scotland, has been developed to help young people make a successful transition into the labour market and to help re-train those who have been made redundant.  Depending on your needs there are two stages to the programme, Stage 3 and Stage 4.

The programme involves all aspects of job search and includes work experience with local employers, if COVID restrictions allow.  If work experience is not available, participants will complete a vocation short course or three SQA units on various aspects of Employability and Personal Development. Participant’s on the course aged 18yrs and under and not on benefits are paid a Training Allowance of £55 per week, which is linked to attendance.

Entry requirements

There no academic entry requirements.The Employability Fund is available to all ages with the main target group being’ any young person aged between 16 and 24, not at school, college, employed or in training can join the programme. All participants must be referred by Skills Development Scotland, Department of Work and Pensions (Jobcentre), OIC or UHI Orkney.

Stage 3

  • Employability Award.
  • Practical skills for Employment.
  • Developing essential skills.
  • Job Search.
  • Recognising Skill.
  • Compiling a CV.
  • Writing Letters of Application.
  • Successful Application Processes.
  • Interviews Techniques.
  • Work Experience (if COVID restrictions allow)


Stage 4

Certificated Vocational Short Courses.

If you have been made redundant and would like to undergo vocational training to help you gain employment, there might be a short course available that could help you get back into employment.

A list of short courses available in Stage 4 that are endorsed by Skills Development Scotland can be found here.

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time

Stage 3 - Full Time

You will attend an induction process then up to 30hrs per week to develop the skills needed to help you into employment. You will attend three days each week with a combination of face-to-face and online learning. 

UHI Orkney try to start new trainees every two weeks, but this can vary depending on COVID restrictions at the time.  You will complete three SQA Units during a six-week programme and depending on availability and the level of COVID restrictions, you might also be able access short course training to help enhance your CV.  Depending on the level of COVID restrictions, you might have the chance to complete a work placement as an addition to the three SQA Units.

Stage 4 - Full Time

You will most likely attend for a period of 1 – 5 days depending on the length of the short course you wish to attend.  The maximum length of time you will be on the programme is two-weeks.

You will attend an induction process at UHI Orkney before travelling to your Short Course Training Provider.  The training provider could be located on Orkney, or anywhere else in Britain.  Your short course will be arranged by UHI Orkney Staff.  Providing you have the finance to do so, all travel and accommodation is arranged by, and paid for, by trainees.  All travel and accommodation costs will be reimbursed after you have completed your course and on the production of travel receipt, boarding passes, accommodation receipts etc.  Where you cannot manage this cost up front, alternative arrangements can be discussed.

How long will my course last?

Stage 3 is currently six-weeks with the potential for an extension, depending on COVID restrictions. 

Stage 4 is dependant on the length of the short course you wish to access but will be no longer than two-weeks.

Where can I study my course?

    Start date

    Stage 3 – Every two-weeks where COVID restrictions allow.

    Stage 4 – You can start at any time, but this is dependant on the availability of your chosen short course.


    Full time

    If you are studying a full time Further Education course (NCs, NQs etc.) the College claims your fees from the Scottish Funding Council for students who are under 18 on the first day of the course. Students over the age of 18 on the first day of the course have to apply to Orkney Islands Council (OIC) for a tuition fees bursary.

    Information on the tuition fees bursary is available on the OIC website.

    Part time

    Normally you are responsible for your course fees but if you are in receipt of certain benefits you may be eligible for a Part Time Course Fee Waiver. Not all part-time courses at Orkney College UHI are covered by the Fee Waiver Scheme and only certain benefits are acceptable as a basis for a Fee Waiver. Please contact the college to enquire.

    If you are eligible, you may be entitled to an ILA of up to £200 a year towards a course.

    What can I do on completion of my course?


    Participants can progress into employment, apprenticeship or further education.

    Career Opportunities

    This course supports access to further training and employment.

    Is there more information available online?

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    You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

    To apply for this course, please contact Iain Wilkie on (01856) 569500 or e-mail Iain.Wilkie@uhi.ac.uk

    We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at Orkney College UHI. Orkney College UHI operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.