Celebrating success for young people in London and South East

January 16th, 2017

Young people from London and the South East who have turned their lives around through traineeships and apprenticeships have been shining a light on their achievements and celebrating their success.

The 16 to 24-year-olds – many of whom struggled at school or faced challenging circumstances at home – attended special events at Skills Training UK’s centres in Hounslow, Ealing, Wembley and Brighton.

With the support of Skills Training UK they have all grown in confidence and gained the skills and experience they need to progress into full-time employment, an apprenticeship or further education – which has included help in the core subjects of English and maths as well as vocational qualifications.

Each young person was presented with a certificate in recognition of their progress, while others also gave inspirational speeches on how Skills Training UK has transformed their lives.

They were joined in their celebrations by employers and representatives from schools, colleges, local authorities and Jobcentre Plus.

Skills Training UK currently has 4,500 learners at training centres in Hounslow, Ealing, Wembley, Brighton, Dudley and Walsall. Through strong community partnerships, it offers the hardest to reach a chance to take their first steps towards employment or continued learning.

Speaking at the event, Maya Shah, Employer Adviser at Hounslow Jobcentre Plus, said: “I’ve been working with Skills Training UK for many years – it’s important to work together to help young people into employment, and to remove any barriers that they may face. When a young person comes to us and they need help gaining qualifications, I always know Skills Training UK is there to support.”

Hamir Noorzai, Director at insurance firm Direct Cover Ltd in Brent, added: “Everyone has to overcome challenges to achieve success, but it all depends on what opportunities you have. The team at Skills Training UK has such a positive, friendly attitude, we wanted to work with them and offer all we can to help local young people in to work.”

Linda Shaw, local employment scheme co-ordinator for Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “It can be very hard for a lot of these young people but what Skills Training UK do is great. It encourages its learners to engage with employment and training and make a real difference – with the chance of a meaningful job at the end of it.”

Hounslow - Jaeden Letch, 22

Jaeden spoke at Skills Training UK’s Hounslow Centre about how the Traineeship programme has helped him to achieve a job and improve his confidence.

He said: “Skills Training UK has really shown me what I can do with my life. Before I was just sitting at home with no job, my parents were moaning at me because money was tight. I started a retail Traineeship with Skills Training UK seven months ago and within three weeks I had a job. It has really boosted my confidence and now I’m even thinking about going to university, which I never wanted to do before. It has turned my entire life around!”

Photo caption: Jaeden Letch (centre) collects a certificate for achievement at Skills Training UK’s Hounslow Centre, with (L-R) Chief Executive Martin Dunford OBE, Senior Operations Manager Cristina Moran and Employability Account Manager Fred Frimpong.

Wembley - Fardowsa Bahdoon, 18

Fardowsa spoke at the Wembley Centre event about how Skills Training UK has helped her to progress on to her dream career of working in the health sector.

She said: “Skills Training UK has made a big difference – without its help, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I started the Study Programme in 2015 and have since achieved qualifications in business administration as well as maths and English. My next step is to do an apprenticeship in health and social care as I want to work in a hospital.”

Photo caption: 18 year-old Fardowsa Bahdoon who spoke at the ‘Celebration of Achievement’ event about how Skills Training UK has helped her to progress toward her dream career of working in the health sector

Ealing - Stephen Penn, 23

Stephen, from West Drayton, has Asperger’s Syndrome and was previously unemployed before receiving 1-2-1 support and a work experience placement on a Skills Training UK Traineeship, which led to him winning a job as a software engineer with technology company Global Blue in Brentford.

He said: “This job is all I’ve ever wanted. When I first came to Skills Training UK I wouldn’t talk to anyone. Now I can. The tutors always tried to include me in everything and it’s been amazing. Coming here has made a big difference to my life.”

Speaking at the Celebration of Achievement event, Faraz Saleem from Global Blue, said: “What Skills Training UK is doing is amazing. It’s not easy for young people to find jobs and as an employer I want to do all I can as well. We offered three young people the opportunity of work experience with us and were delighted that this led to us employing Stephen.”

Photo caption: Stephen Penn – who is now employed at technology company Global Blue

Brighton – Jessica Moyle, 25

By her own admission, Jessica struggled at school, having been diagnosed with severe dyslexia and ADHD. The 1-2-1 support she received from Skills Training UK and a work placement while enrolled on the Apprenticeship for Retail has helped her to grow in confidence.

She now works for West Sussex based catering firm Strong Flavours, waitressing on event days at Plumpton Racecourse and volunteers four days a week at the Marie Curie charity shop in Burgess Hill.

Jessica, from Plumpton, said: “Skills Training UK gave me the support I needed. The Apprenticeship has helped me to grow in confidence. I can’t thank the tutors at Skills Training UK enough. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.”

Photo caption: Jessica Moyle, who has found work after completing an Apprenticeship for Retail with Skills Training UK Brighton