A vital west Fife training organisation will have to shut if it does not find funding.
West Fife Enterprise has spent the last 35 years delivering “life-changing” services for generations of unemployed people.
It is now facing closure if sustainable funding is not found quickly.
General manager Simon Warr said this will lead to both a loss of jobs and hundreds of Fife’s long-term unemployed no longer receiving vital support.
“This is a tragic decision to have to make,” he added.
Over the past decade alone, the Newmills-based organisation has worked with 1,455 unemployed people, aged between 16 and 64, helping them gain confidence, qualifications, and skills.
Of those, 668 have moved into jobs or further education.
The organisation said it had been doing its utmost to avoid this situation but had not been able to find funding.
Mr Warr added: “As an organisation that grew up from the mass unemployment that was caused by the closing of the mining industry across the west Fife villages in the 1980s, it’s ironic that we will no longer be able to help those most in need of support gain employment, and will actually have to make our staff team unemployed.”
Despite employment being at its highest level for 40 years, those looking for work had greater barriers to overcome than those simply looking to change jobs.
“That is why the work we do, with the people we work with, is so vital.”
Chairwoman Janet McCauslin added: “It was with a heavy heart that the board of directors advised the staff team of the current situation.
“Sadly policy changes over a period of years have led to West Fife Enterprise’s core business reducing to such an extent that the organisation is no longer financially viable.
“We trust that other similar organisations in Fife may be able to fill the gap in providing employment training and job seeking support to Fife residents where we are not.”
Mid Scotland and Fife Labour MSP Alex Rowley said: “West Fife Enterprises has a great success rate of supporting people into work or onto college and it would be a sad day if these facilities were lost to communities in west and central Fife.
He has written to Fife Council asking where this organisation sits within its skills strategy and what support could be made available.
He has also drawn the track record of the organisation in supporting those who are often “far from the labour market and need intensive support” to the Finance Secretary.