The Asda Foundation’s recent donation of £18,000 to The Prince’s Trust Scotland to fund a series of Development Awards follows a similar donation from the Foundation of £27,637 last year.
Development Awards help young people overcome financial barriers to work, education and training.
The programme offers small grants to cover a wide range of expenses including course fees, travel to work, equipment or even setting up a new business.
The Minister met several young people who have benefited from the awards and heard about their experiences.
He also spoke to colleagues on Asda’s apprenticeship programme to hear about the training and development opportunities offered by the supermarket, and discussed the store’s support for the local community with Asda Cumbernauld’s community champion Lynne Morrison.
Mr Hepburn said: “I was delighted to meet with Asda’s Modern Apprentices and beneficiaries from The Prince’s Trust Development Awards.
“I welcomed hearing first-hand about how the award is helping young people to overcome some of the financial barriers to work, education and training.
“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for all employers to invest in their workforce and provide the skills the economy needs now and in the future, while also allowing individuals to earn while they learn.”
Asda Cumbernauld store manager Robbie MacDonald added: “We were pleased to welcome the Minister to the store to help celebrate the Asda Foundation’s donation to support more young people into work or training.
“At Asda we are passionate about helping everyone to reach their potential, regardless of their background, and by working with The Prince’s Trust Scotland we can give a helping hand to more young people in our local communities.”
Kate Still, director of Prince’s Trust Scotland, said: “We believe every young person deserves the chance to succeed and reach their full potential.
“Partnerships with employers like Asda are vital to ensuring that young people are supported to develop the skills and confidence they need to live, learn and earn.”
To find out more about the Asda Foundation, including eligibility for submitting a funding application, contact the Community Champion at your local Asda store, or visit http://charities.asda.com/asda-foundation.