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Kent youngsters at the House of Commons to celebrate benefits of traineeships

September 11th 2013

Yasmin Muir and Alex Foster with Roger

25 young unemployed people from Thanet and Gravesend in Kent who successfully completed an innovative pilot traineeship scheme run by awarding body OCR this summer, are celebrating the benefits of traineeships at the House of Commons on 10 September with Skills Minister Matthew Hancock MP.

Just days after Matthew Hancock gave the green light to traineeships in May, OCR teamed up with the Kent Association of Training Organisations (KATO) to run a 3 month pilot scheme which would mirror the government’s full traineeship programme and help young unemployed people bridge the gap into work or onto an apprenticeship.

The 25 young people, who ranged in age from 18 to 24, followed a programme delivered by SET Training based near Dartford and Profile Training in Thanet, which mixed work experience, basic English and maths skills, as well as focusing on general readiness to work through employability skills courses and interview practice. Work placements were organised with local businesses, including insurance companies, GP surgeries and estate agencies, with a focus on customer service and administration.

The results of the Kent pilot traineeship are promising.  Of the 25 trainees, 12 have already been offered employment or places on apprenticeships.  A further 12 are going on to FE courses. One trainee, Jeff Owen, has been offered a job at an estate agency where he showed real promise by selling a house in his first week. Another has got an apprenticeship at Claims International.  
Andrea Webb, Managing Director of Profile Training in Thanet, said: "The pilot traineeship has allowed us to work with local employers to support young people gain the skills required to find employment. This included sector specific skills such as business administration skills along with CV writing, job hunting, interview techniques and the very important work experience element. All of our young people took part in organisinsing a charity event, which brought together all of their new skills. The event was a Family Fun Day in aid of Cry and the young people raised almost £600. I am so proud of their achievements and look forward to supporting more young people through our traineeship programmes."
19-year-old trainee Alex Foster from Thanet who has successfully gone on to find employment at an accountancy firm, comments: “My advice to other young people out there is go for it. It’s a great way to broaden your knowledge and reinforce your capabilities.”
During their 3 month pilot training course, young people at Profile organised a successful fundraising day for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) and raised nearly £600. The trainees presented their cheque to Sir Roger Gale MP, Vice Chairman of the All Party Group on CRY and MP for Thanet North, during their visit to the House of Commons on 10.09.13.
Roger visited the trainees during the planning stages and then visited the Fun Day in August. He says:
“The Thanet Trainees put a huge amount of effort into their fundraiser and  I am delighted both that they raised a considerable sum of money for a very worthy cause – Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) – but more importantly because as a result of their training almost all of them now have work, apprenticeships or further education placements. It`s a huge credit to their determination.”

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