Customer Highlight – Kibble’s ‘The Experience’ Officially Opened
Kibble’s new events and entertainment centre has been officially opened by the Deputy First Minister, John Swinney MSP. ‘The Experience’ is based in the former Rolls-Royce aero engine factory in Hillington Park and hosts Scotland’s first indoor electric Go-kart track. Developed in three phases, the venue has already been given 5-star accreditation by Visit Scotland.
‘The Experience’ operates as a social enterprise and provides training and work experience opportunities for local young people who face barriers to employment. Owned and operated by Paisley based charity The Kibble Group, this Young Workforce Development Centre has already seen its first success stories with young people moving on to full time employment and further education.
Speaking ahead of the opening, John Swinney MSP said: “I was delighted to have the opportunity to open and tour this fantastic new facility at The Experience. It’s great to see first-hand the uniquely integrated range of services provided by Kibble, which play a key role in ensuring young people have the opportunities they need to develop their employability skills.
As well as Scotland’s only indoor electric Go-karting arena, ‘The Experience’ hosts the award winning Academy Restaurant and training kitchens, slot car racing, Laser tag, sensory room, conference facilities and STEAM learning environment (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths).
"It might sound like an unusual combination to have culinary arts mixed with go-karting, but with 70% of 16-19 year olds starting their careers in the hospitality industry, The Experience gives young people meaningful opportunities."
The YES Programme (Youth Employment Support) was launched in 2015 and supported by the Big Lottery Fund. Aimed at school-leavers with little or no qualifications, those with a lack of work experience, or young adults who are struggling to find or retain employment, they embark on a placement which lasts up to 26 weeks to gain practical work experience.
Growing up Amber Hay, 18, faced more barriers than most. Born with Cerebral Palsy, she struggled to learn to walk and talk and her doctors said she would never walk unaided. But her determination meant that after undergoing a massive operation on her legs, she walked for the first time when she was 8 years old.
Amber joined the YES Programme Customer Service Team in September 2015 and has since secured employment as an Admin Assistant for ‘Values Into Action Scotland’. Speaking about her time at The Experience, she said:
“I’ve had successes and failures, but I’ve always tried to overcome my obstacles. I am grateful to the support and guidance I received during my time as a trainee on the YES Programme.
“I would like to say a big thank you to The Experience it has been the best work placement I have been on. I have gained so much confidence and I feel that I have become a better person. If you are thinking of joining the Experience as a work placement, I would definitely say go for it!”