Addiction Worker Training Project

About the Project

Scottish Drugs Forum’s award-winning Addiction Worker Training Project (AWTP) is a unique initiative which supports, trains, and prepares individuals with a history of problematic drug and alcohol use to work in Social Care.

Launched in 2004, to help people with experience of substance use issues prepare for employment in social care through in-work placements and formal learning, AWTP is the first project in Scotland to:

  • offer former drug and alcohol users the opportunity to gain supported work experience and a qualification whilst receiving a wage for the duration of the course
  • develop a multi-agency approach to employability for former substance users.

Scottish Drugs Forum works in partnership with accredited learning providers and alongside drug and alcohol services throughout Glasgow to provide the training for the students, who include people who were formerly homeless and ex-offenders who have previously experienced multiple barriers to employment.

The Project received a major boost thanks to a second £600,000 investment from Big Lottery Fund Scotland in March 2016.  Initial BIG investment to AWTP in 2012 saw SDF expand it’s successful AWTP model from Glasgow, into the East of Scotland and other parts of the West of the country. Now firmly established, AWTP is becoming the leading route to employment for people who face multiple barriers.

“I have had the training and support which has made me a good worker… I know I have potential and I have confidence in my abilities and it’s all thanks to SDF staff and the AWTP”
AWTP graduate 


The project has achieved national recognition – at the inaugural Herald Society Awards in 2008, AWTP won the Best Practice Initiative and was commended in the Education Category.  AWTP was also showcased at the prestigious Scottish Social Services Council Care Accolades, securing a place as a finalist in the Investing in the Workforce Category (2014).

More recently, the team collected a Clydesdale Bank Spirit of the Community Award in June 2016 and won the first ever Herald and GenAnalytics Diversity Awards in October 2016.


The project is funded annually and since 2004 has attracted a range of varied funders who recognise the very valuable work of the scheme.

AWTP’s single biggest injection of funding – £600,000 came from a four-year Big Lottery Fund Scotland Grant in 2016.  Current funders also include Glasgow City Council’s Integrated Grants Fund, the Henry Smith Charity, the Robertson Trust, and East Ayrshire and Fife Alcohol and Drug Partnerships.

As a partnership project, SDF welcomes new placement agencies able to provide trainees with the very valuable work experience element of the AWTP course

The following organisations currently provide placements for our trainees:

Abbeycare Scotland
Addaction Scotland
Blue Triangle Housing Association
Clued Up
DTTO – Edinburgh
Dunedin Harbour Hostel
Phoenix Futures
Scottish Association for Mental Health
Spittal Street Centre
Turning Point Scotland