In previous podcasts you may have heard some guests mention The Experience – Kibble’s latest social enterprise. On 29th February 2016 we officially opened The Experience with many guests and friends of Kibble, as well as representatives from the local council and of course, Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP.
In this special edition of Social Enterprise Conversation, we cover the opening of The Experience including a few brief chats with various people who attended the launch.
The Experience is a themed entertainment venue based in Hillington, Refrewshire. It was recently awarded a 5 star activity centre grading by VisitScotland is home to Scotland’s only electric go-karting arena, laser tag, slot car track and restaurant.
Part of the motivation for creating The Experience was young workforce development. Kibble has a long history of providing training and job opportunities to young people from supported backgrounds and for a number of years have offered such services through its KibbleWorks programme. Kibbleworks is a collection of social enterprises, and as a part of the KibbleWorks programme, The Experience is another way to offer education, employment and training to young people.
In some ways, one could view The Experience as the next logical step in the process that began with KibbleWorks. It is a multi-purpose themed entertainment venue which combines the years of experience that Kibble has in training and helping young people into employment, with the desire to create measureable social impact in a setting which is customer focused, where quality must be of the highest standard. The leisure and hospitality industry is an excellent setting in which to do this as it traditionally employs a very high percentage of young people.
The Experience also operates a Big Lottery funded employability programme called The YES Programme, which is based in on site and offers young people who have had difficulty in finding work the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in a number of different areas that goes beyond hospitality and leisure.
The opening day was excellent, and I thoroughly enjoyed talking to so many different people.