MSP Alasdair Allan visits
'Doing things Differently' has proved a major success for a young solicitors and estate agents firm in Edinburgh after they used the Step Forward Scotland initiative to employ four bright Edinburgh teenagers in their firm. The programme has proved so successful for the firm and the teenagers that SMP, Alasdair Allan, will be visiting them to meet and congratulate the four who now all play an important role in the success of the business. The company wanted to give young people the chance to enter the world of work and gain new and valuable skills, while also gaining formal qualifications. The four young employees, aged between 17 and 20, all work in key areas of the business in our post production and photography department, our property department and reception. All gaining experience working with creative software, schedule layout, Home Reports and publishing, marketing, reception, administration and customer services. The first two teenagers who joined the firm on the scheme in August last year, have now successfully completed their SVQ Level 3 in Business Administration and Young Apprenticeships. The other two teenagers are still currently on the scheme and working towards their formal qualifications and permanent appointment, later this year. The firm, who opened its doors in the middle of a recession and a slow housing market, are changing the way people buy and sell property, having bucked the trend by its innovative and proactive approach to business. McEwan Fraser Legal is now the fastest growing solicitors and estate agents in Scotland, having taken on 28 people in the last 12 months. Ivan Ralph, Senior Partner commented \"Our motto is 'Doing things Differently'. We also take this approach to our staff and giving young people the opportunity to gain experience and qualifications. They are able to input their ideas into the business and play a key role in the success of our business all fits into our company's ethos.\"Step Forward Scotland is a new initiative from the Scottish Government, the European Social Fund and Skills Development Scotland that is committed to helping Scottish businesses and young people aged between 16 and 19, who are just out of school or college. McEwan Fraser Legal has worked in close partnership with the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce's Edinburgh Jobs Fund to create sustainable employment for these four young people. The Edinburgh Jobs Fund is a programme to help individuals into employment and improve their chances on the career ladder through experience and training. The programme offers paid work placements for individuals living in Edinburgh who want to work with local companies. The young candidates were introduced to the company by training providers Recruitment Training Limited and DGM Training. \"I was most impressed by the calibre of candidates the training providers put forward. The people we interviewed were well prepared - from their CV's to how they responded during their interviews which I think is due to the input of the training providers,\" said Mrs Karen Dodds, Practice and Business Development Manager for the firm.The four young apprentices, Sarah Hackland (19) from Granton, Kerri Kivlin (20) from Meadowbank, Lewis Cation (17) from Corstorphine and Melissa Brown (18) also from Corstorphine all said that people in their age group find it very difficult to get a job.\"The Young Apprentice scheme has made a big impact on my life. Before I joined McEwan Fraser Legal on the scheme, I was unemployed with a HNC Business from Jewel and Esk College. Today, I am permanently employed in a successful company with experience in various aspects of a solicitors and estate agency practice. I now also hold a SVQ Level 3 in Business Administration,\" said Kerri Kivlin.