Project Trust, a company limited by guarantee and an educational charity, is based on the Isle of Coll, in Argyll. It employs 24 FTEs on a fragile island and delivers skills building opportunities to approximately 350 young people each year.
Working with schools across the UK, Project Trust provides worldwide gap year placements for school leavers. The places are competitive and selection weeks are held on Coll throughout the summer, involving local volunteer projects, skills and team building. Support is provided to enable the young people to fundraise towards the cost of the placement, and whilst they are abroad regular contact is maintained.
Many of the project volunteers secure work with Project Trust in their offices on Coll on their return, bringing young people to the island community.
The beginning – HIE’s involvement / Mar a tha HIE an sàs
The Hebridean Centre was established by Project Trust in 1988 to provide residential accommodation for volunteers whilst on the island being trained prior to placement overseas. In 1993, office accommodation was completed and ten members of Project staff were based on Coll. In autumn 2008, Project relocated the London-based recruitment team of six to the island.
Project Trust continued to grow from this point and increased office space became crucial to maintaining good staff and high operating standards.
HIE began working with Project Trust in 2010, when they were fundraising to increase the size of their office space on Coll. They were delighted to work with HIE on a capital project and since that time HIE has continued to provide support as they have developed an ambitious strategic plan and continue to extend their work overseas.
In 2011, HIE contributed £136,000 towards the £388,000 capital build project, enabling growth of Project Trust’s office base on Coll, which has resulted in the retention of 20 FTEs and 4 PTEs in a fragile area.
Since then, Project Trust has employed a further full time employee as an education officer and has recently taken on a TalentScotland graduate placement in marketing and communications (Dave Lyons, pictured here) supported by HIE.
Further developments around workforce training and upgraded IT systems are currently being planned in consultation with HIE.
Project Trust operations have now been consolidated on Coll, paving the way for long term sustainable employment on this fragile island.
Project Trust will continue to deliver a high quality service from its office and accommodation base for
approximately 350 young people each year.
A TalentScotland graduate placement has been secured through HIE.
Future growth is likely to take the form of franchise or expansion to another base, potentially supported through account management.
Kerrien Grant, Tel. 01546 605416