100 young people celebrate their first career steps with Mayor of Ealing

July 27th, 2017


Over 100 young people aged between 16 and 24 from the Ealing and Wembley areas attended a motivational event on 19 July at Ealing Town Hall where their positive career steps were recognised and rewarded with presentations made by The Mayor of Ealing, Councillor Simon Woodroofe and the Chief Executive of Skills Training UK, Martin Dunford OBE.

Before enrolling with Skills Training UK, many of the 16-24 year-olds have faced challenging housing, health and family circumstances in their personal lives including being care leavers, refugees, or having left school or college early. They are turning their lives around with the help of Skills Training UK’s personalised approach at its local learning centres where tutors provide support to each individual through a choice of Study Programmes and Traineeships. They develop self-belief and are tutored in English, Maths, IT and job-specific qualifications, also gaining the work experience they need to progress and take their first career steps.

Several learners from the local Skills Training UK centres in Ealing and Wembley spoke to the large audience of friends, families, employers and partner organisations about their personal experiences and progression with Skills Training UK. They included Emile Lodi, who struggled with ID problems but has gone onto complete a Retail Traineeship and achieve full time employment at Smiths Toy Store, and Gahdier Al Khafji who after achieving a wide range of new skills, qualifications and employment experience has now won a place at university to study nutrition.

The Mayor of Ealing, Councillor Simon Woodroofe, said: “I am a great believer that everyone is good at something and what Skills Training UK is doing is developing young people through their local centres, which is a great thing. They are helping disadvantaged young learners to discover their talents and I wish every young person I met today the very best of luck in all they do.”

During the event, a presentation was also made to Ealing Jobcentre Plus in recognition of their highly successful partnership with Skills Training UK, who have established a hub inside the jobcentre to talk to unemployed young people about the opportunities to learn and take their first career steps by following the Study Programme or Traineeships at a Skills Training UK centre.

Skills Training UK’s Study Programme and Traineeships in Retail, Hospitality, Industry and the Service Sector are providing high quality work experience opportunities and all the support which the young people need to progress on to college, an Apprenticeship or full-time employment. Some have been supported in gaining the qualifications and confidence to apply for and win places at university.

Martin Dunford OBE, Chief Executive of Skills Training UK, said: “It’s really important to Skills Training UK that we recognise and celebrate the progression of each and every young person who comes into our centres. We are passionate about supporting them to overcome any personal issues they may face in order to make positive career steps. We are also very grateful to the local employers and other partners we work with, including Ealing and Acton Jobcentre Plus centres, Prospects and the Social Services teams locally. Together we are making a difference in creating new and meaningful career and life opportunities.” 

The success stories also include care leaver Keeley Gibbons who has started a full time role with Metro Bank, Zaid Salim, age 23, who is set for a career in mechanical engineering and Matyas Zsupos, age 22, who is going into IT. Mina Wahi from Wembley came to the UK from Iraq in 2015 and after learning English and other skills with Skills Training UK, has won a place at University.

At the start of the event, held on 19 July, several learners also showcased their talents to demonstrate how Skills Training UK is supporting them to achieve their potential with their personal interests as well as their careers. Zineeddine Yedder showed off martial arts talent, while former refugee Ali Reza Ghadiri explained his journey to become a boxer, and learner Shubhangi Kaur her creative writing ability which she has developed through writing poetry.

Guest speakers at the Ealing event also included song writer and music publisher Joleyn Skinner who praised the young learners’ motivation, and entrepreneur Aleski Brandy-Williams who has launched social enterprise Youth MADE UK which is focused on encouraging young people into business.

For more information about Skills Training UK's Study Programme, Traineeships and Apprenticeships, see here.

Photo caption: Learner Gahdier Al Khafaji who is starting University after gaining new skills, qualifications and experience with Skills Training UK.

Photo caption: Learner Emile Lodi who now has full time employment with Smiths Toy Store after turning his life around with the help of Skills Training UK.

Photo caption: The Mayor of Ealing, Councillor Simon Woodroofe (centre) and Martin Dunford OBE, Chief Executive, Skills Training UK (left from centre) with a group of learners and (far left) Cynthia Martin, Skills Training UK’s Centre Manager (Ealing and Wembley) and (far right) Cristina Moran, Senior Operations Manager, Skills Training UK.