Graduates celebrate success as National Traineeship turns twenty

18th April 2024

Graduates from the Scottish Drugs Forum’s award-winning National Traineeship celebrated their achievements at a prestigious ceremony in the Glasgow City Chambers on Wednesday  17th April.

The event marked the achievements of 30 people who, over the course of a 9-month salaried traineeship with SDF, undertook field placements in local partner agencies across Scotland.

Now celebrating its 20-year milestone, the Traineeship supports and prepares people with experience of drug and alcohol problems, to work in social care.  The project provides a resource of skilled and motivated workers for the sector. Trainees are recruited from and work in local communities and all trainees have experience and insight of the particular barriers and challenges faced in their community.

This year SDF delivered the initiative in eleven local authorities across Scotland – Argyll & Bute, Borders, East Ayrshire, Edinburgh, Fife, Glasgow, Highland, Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire.

For the first time, this year, funding from Scottish Government has allowed SDF to increase the scale and scope of the Traineeship, providing more spaces to people across Scotland. The National Traineeship, formerly known as the Addiction Worker Training Programme,  was initially established in Glasgow in 2004.

Speakers: Kirsten Horsburgh – SDF, David Johnston – the Wise Group (2004 Graduate), Christina McKelvie MSP – Minister for Drugs and Alcohol Policy, Jason Wallace – SDF, Rowan Anderson – Corra Foundation

Drugs and Alcohol Policy Minister Christina McKelvie gave the main address at the celebration and said “As it celebrates its 20th anniversary, I’m delighted to see that Scottish Government investment and support has allowed SDF to widen access to its supported employment programme so even more people can benefit.

“It’s a great example of how our £250 million National Mission on Drugs is delivering change and making a real difference at on the ground.

“Making sure those with lived and living experience is at the heart of our National Mission – that’s why we’ve provided an extra £480,000 a year until 2026 to support up to 20 additional trainees annually.”

Scottish Drugs Forum CEO Kirsten Horsburgh said “We are proud of this project which emerged from identifying the support required for people with lived experience to find work, the staff shortages within services and most importantly the potential for people with lived experience to contribute to changing services for the better.

“For twenty years this programme has provided qualified, informed and skilled staff to services working with marginalised people. They are now colleagues working in and managing services across Scotland.

“I am delighted to attend and contribute to the graduation ceremony and to witness what this means for the graduates and their families. This inspires the whole staff team, partner organisations and funders to maintain what is now a national programme.”