Haverhill youth sign up for work skills

New youth skills officer Karen Chapple
New youth skills officer Karen Chapple

More than 50 young people in Haverhill who are not in education or employment are taking part in work skills courses thanks to a new youth skills programme being delivered as part of ONE Haverhill’s community budget.

New Youth Skills Manager Karen Chapple, employed by ONE Haverhill as part of the plans to increase apprenticeships and work experience for youngsters in the town, has secured 50 places on work skills courses starting this month.

More than 30 young people will benefit from courses supported by West Suffolk College: 17 on the 12-week Prince’s Trust TEAM programme and 16 on the Pathways to Employment course. A further 19 young people will take part in L.I.F.E “The Work Experience” programme run by Learning Individually from Experience.co.uk. All three courses will take place in Haverhill and provide work and confidence skills to help support these young people in their efforts to learn a trade and find employment.

Karen said: “One of the key areas of my work when I started for ONE Haverhill was to work with the colleges to identify those young people who have finished education but are not in employment, and work with them to find out what their needs were and how best we can support young people in Haverhill.

“What I found was that many courses that run in the town were delivered on the same days at the same time which excluded some young people from the opportunity of participating and developing vital work and confidence skills. Now by working with course providers and identifying those that need support our young people in the town are getting the help they need.”

The L.I.F.E “The Work Experience” programme run by Learning Individually from Experience.co.uk provides young people with the necessary experiences and multiple set of skills required to fulfil employment demand. Through the programme young people build their CVs and portfolios, attain practical knowledge and experiences that equip them with a better understanding of the “working environment”.

Sergio Paya Borrull, Programme Leader & Coordinator, at Learning Individually from Experience.co.uk, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Karen at ONE Haverhill to ensure that our programme reaches the young people in Haverhill that really need our help and support. Better coordination of programmes and courses in the town can only help providers shape their services and young people to access them.”

The Prince’s Trust Team programme, funded by West Suffolk College and delivered by Inspire Suffolk, is free of charge to those taking part and is made up of a variety of activities including a residential week of team building challenges, a community project, interview and CV writing advice, work experience and culminates in a graduation ceremony at the end of the three months.

Gary Cotter, from Inspire Suffolk, explained his element of the course: “Our Team programme is a 12 week course for young people in this area who are between 16 and 25 years of age who are unemployed and looking for support to take a new direction in their lives.”

The Pathways to Employment study programme is designed for young people (16 to 24 year olds) who would like to make progress into employment, apprenticeships, further training or traineeships and who are finding it difficult to get an interview for their first job. It is a Level 2 Study Programme which offers a supportive environment in which learners can achieve their full potential. It provides an opportunity to improve numeracy and literacy skills, as well as improving employability skills.

Pathways to Employment Coordinator Nick Stevens said: “Karen has done a fantastic job in helping me identify young people for the Pathways to Employment programme. This programme has been designed to bridge the gap for the young person who is finding it difficult to get an interview for that crucial first job. Pathways to Employment gives learners the opportunity to improve numeracy and literacy skills, as well as giving them an insight into the world of work that helps them stand out from other applicants.”