02 May 2024

Removing barriers to employability: SURF Awards Shared Learning Workshop

Organised by: SURF


Glasgow Women's Library, 23 Landressy St, Bridgeton, Glasgow G40 1BP

A shared learning workshop with contributions from the winner and highly commended projects in the Removing Barriers to Employability category in the 2023 SURF Awards.

SURF and the Scottish Government work together to identify and highlight excellence and innovation in initiatives that address social and economic challenges in disadvantaged communities through the annual SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration.


This free half-day SURF Awards workshop event in the Glasgow Women’s Library, Bridgeton on 2nd May provides an opportunity to explore successful approaches towards tackling barriers to employment facing people in Scotland. The winner and highly commended projects from the ‘Employability’ category highlighted in the 2023 SURF Awards process, will provide comment on their experiences and transferable learning.

Workshop guests will firstly hear from a project representative from the ‘Employability’ category winner ABZWorks Employability Support. Working across Aberdeen, ABZWorks provide an employability support service for care experienced young people.

This will be followed by input from the ‘Employability’ highly commended All in Dundee. Led by Enable Works, the programme declutters employability services for the people looking to access support by bringing services together to work under one service.

Finally, guests will then hear from the ‘Employability’ highly commended Topgolf Recruitment. Supported by Clyde Gateway, working with the new Topgolf facility in Rutherglen, the programme supports people into employment and increases local job opportunities.

The event will close with presentations from the Institute of Employability Professionals and the Scottish Government’s Developing the Young Workforce Team providing detail on their current priorities towards supporting individuals and organisations to help people enter or return back into training and employment.

The SURF Awards ‘Removing Barriers to Employability’ judging panel team – comprising representatives of the Third Sector Employability Forum, The Larder and Scottish Enterprise – were particularly impressed by the commitment to engaging with those disconnected from employability services and the flexibility of adapting to meet the needs of each individual person.

This workshop will be delivered with support from the Institute of Employability Professionals.


10:00am   Registration and networking

10:30am   Welcome and Introduction: Euan Leitch, Chief Executive, SURF

10:35am   Presentation, ABZWorks: Lori Leslie, Aberdeen City Council

10:50am   Presentation, All in Dundee: Gemma Falconer, Enable Works

11:00am   Presentation, Topgolf Recruitment: Niki Spence, Clyde Gateway

11:10am   Questions and Comments with project representatives

11:25am   Presentation, Institute of Employability Professionals: Helen Lee, IEP

11:35am   Presentation, Developing the Young Workforce: Kathryn Simpson & Jenny Lee, Scottish Government

11:45am   Open Discussion on National Policy

12:05pm   Summary, Thanks and What’s Next: Euan Leitch and Emma Scott, Events, Information & Communications Manager, SURF

12:15pm   Close and Networking Lunch

You can read more about the 2023 SURF Award projects in the SURF Awards Publication.

For event enquires please email emma@surf.scot