Routes To Work was delighted to welcome North Lanarkshire Council Provost Kenneth Duffy to our board in November 2022.
Upon joining the board last year, Provost Duffy quickly got a sense of the ethos of Routes To Work.
By his own admission, Provost Duffy thought our purpose was simply to help people into work.
However, he soon realised our tailored approach was about more than that and was pleased to see our staff and stakeholders are in it for the right reasons.
He said: “My understanding was Routes To Work was only about getting people into employment, which of course is a core function of it.
“I quickly learned they offer a lot more than that and I was impressed to see the breadth of services, including the geographical spread and the door-to-door outreach they do. That’s incredible and has gone from strength to strength.
“The one thing I really took away was the ethos - you could just feel it. You know people are in it for the right reasons.
“They’re not just turning up to work and doing a nine to five, they clearly care.
“From accredited qualifications and financial support to mental health support, guidance and everything in between, including helping people stay in work, they look at people and their skills and find them the right destination - listening to people and finding out what they’d like to do rather than just matching them to any job.”
Provost Duffy, who is from Muirhouse in Motherwell, has been an elected member of North Lanarkshire Council since May 2017 and Provost since September last year.
Representing Motherwell South East and Ravenscraig, he hopes to bring a fresh perspective to the board so we can continue to serve communities like his.
He added: “For me, as a councillor, employment is the only way to help folk out of poverty and enhance that economic growth within a local area.
“We’re passionate about that circular economy amongst local authorities and, over and above all that, Routes To Work is carrying out that social inclusion work in allowing the access to basic needs such as healthcare, further education and mental health support.
“Forget my role, it’s a priority for me as a human being to try to help others and leave the place better than you inherited it.
“I would always class myself as a very active local councillor and someone that spends a lot of time in their community.
“Being on the board has given me a better understanding of what’s out there, but none of us have the answer to everything.
“If I can bring that passion and enthusiasm, I’ll be a contributor in some way.
“It’s been a great learning experience for me as well and I humbly meet with the board with an open mind.”
“We were delighted to welcome Councillor Duffy to the board last November.
“As the Provost of North Lanarkshire, he has a very busy diary with many civic commitments and the fact that he was willing to contribute the time necessary to actively support the strategic direction of Routes To Work within this was a huge endorsement of the importance of the work the organisation undertakes across North Lanarkshire.
“His fellow Trustees look forward to seeing how his deep understanding of the very real issues being experienced by residents within some of the most disadvantaged communities of North Lanarkshire can influence & shape our future direction and service delivery.”
Chief Executive, Routes To Work