Kickstarting in Midlothian Science Zone

Published: 21 December 2021

There are many opportunities working in science related roles and other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) based activities which offer young people variety and career progression.

The impact of the Covid pandemic has however resulted in a shortage of career opportunities for many young people.

The Young Person’s Guarantee is an innovative strategic initiative that has significantly helped to mitigate the impact on young people and the contribution of Kickstart, Skills Development Scotland and Developing the Young Workforce to helping deliver the guarantee has been considerable. 

The government introduced the Kickstart Scheme in September 2020 providing six months funding for 25 hours a week employment. This funding opportunity for employers is designed for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit, a payment to help with living costs, and at risk of long term unemployment.

Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce (MELCC) is a Kickstart Gateway through which several Midlothian Science Zone-based businesses applied for funding. The process of funding applications can be complex however this was worth the effort for Cambrex Edinburgh, one of the companies successful in receiving funding to employ a Technical & Administration Assistant at their facility on Edinburgh Technopole.

During the six-month programme, Cambrex Edinburgh provided on the job training to teach new skills and working in a business environment provides experience for individuals to develop communication skills and establish a professional relationship with colleagues.

Mark Benger, Site Director of Cambrex Edinburgh, said this role would not have been made available without the help and support of the Kickstart programme and has now allowed the company to offer a full-time position.

Cambrex Labs Edinburgh Technopole

Cambrex Edinburgh, provide world class solid form screening programmes including studies such as salt screening, polymorph screening, co-crystal screening, crystallization screening and further specialised screening activities. In addition, the company has an industry leading crystallization process development team with extensive experience in the scale-up of crystallization processes from lab to plant, providing robust crystallizations for further manufacturing.


Although applications for Kickstart funding are now closed (as of 17th December 2021), if you are an employer looking to create jobs for young people in Midlothian then other opportunities for young people are available through Midlothian Council - Lifelong Learning and Employability. This schemen can support placements for S5 pupils interested in a career in the life sciences sector. Previously this was launched to coincide with the school year from August but short-term placements from January are now available.

Midlothian Council is currently working on an Employer Surgery Pilot for launch in January 2022, an opportunity for the employer to share their particular challenges and recruitment plans for the future. Participants will be able to share information and contact details for the many different employability and training support programmes tailored to the employer’s needs. More information will be available from Midlothian Council soon.



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