Young people and training partners’ celebration in East Sussex

December 18th, 2017

Local training organisations and employers in East Sussex who have helped young people who were ‘NEET’ (Not in Education, Employment or Training) to progress their education and careers have come together for an awards ceremony on 11 December organised by Skills Training UK.

The awards were presented by Eastbourne Borough Council’s Deputy Mayor, Councillor Md. Harun Miah, with East Sussex County Councillor Rupert Simmons, Lead Member for Economy and Graham Clarke, Director of Education and Social Mobility at Skills Training UK who are the lead partner in the programme of support.

At the beginning of 2017 Skills Training UK partnered with 11 local training and education organisations in East Sussex and over the past 12 months over 900 unemployed young people have received individually tailored support.

The South East Local Enterprise Partnership designed the programme, called ‘Skills Support for the Unemployed’ to specifically help 15-24 year-olds who are Not in Education, Employment or Training and it is jointly funded by the European Social Fund and Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Each young person is mentored by one of the local training and education partners to understand their individual circumstances, interests and ambitions and help overcome any particular challenges they may face including mental health or housing issues. They are coached in employability skills and work towards new qualifications, including in English and Maths, as well as being given advice on careers, further education, Traineeships, Apprenticeships and opportunities in the voluntary sector.

The overall ‘Learner of the Year’ winner was Devon Kendall, who has autism, and had suffered bereavement issues after losing his mother. Training partner Wealden Works developed an action plan with Devon and arranged voluntary work with a local company which inspired him to do further learning at college in maths, English and Art to gain some qualifications. He has now started college and part time work.

Jacob Corke, from Eastbourne, won the ‘Attitude to Learning’ award for his determination to succeed after progressing from being out of work to being in full time employment. His mentoring from training provider Crossland and Dudson helped discover a latent ambition to teach and after completing work experience he undertook a Level 3 Award in Education and Training Teaching. He has now started coaching in IT while undertaking further training to become a Functional Skills (English/Maths) tutor.

The award for ‘Employer Partner of the Year’ was presented to Stevens Rowsell, an engineering company based in St Leonards-on-Sea which has offered several opportunities to young people in recent months, including new Apprentice Ben Williams, aged 18, from Hastings. Ben was previously unemployed and has now started work as an estimator after coaching and careers advice from training provider Best Practice People. He said: “I really benefited from the careers advice and the help I received in developing my CV and applying for jobs. I now have a new purpose and am enjoying being employed as an Apprentice.”

Councillor Md. Harun Miah, Deputy Mayor, Eastbourne Borough Council, said: “It was wonderful to see the achievements of the young people who have overcome difficult personal circumstances and have progressed their lives and careers with the help of local training and education organisations and Skills Training UK.”

Graham Clarke, Director of Education and Social Mobility, Skills Training UK, said: “Skills Training UK would like to congratulate the young people who have worked so hard to achieve so many positive outcomes during 2017 and we’d also like to thank all the local education and training providers in East Sussex who have worked in partnership with us. The success is down to your hard work.”

One of the local partners involved is Wealden Works, the rural employment initiative developed and supported by charity The Heathfield Partnership Trust which became one of Skills Training UK’s partners in May 2017. Councillor Rupert Simmons, who is Chairman of The Heathfield Partnership Trust, said: “I am so thrilled to see that the young people on this programme are coming from the whole of the county, including the rural areas where it is difficult for young people to access employers.”

The 11 local partners who are delivering Skills Support for the Unemployed in East Sussex are as follows: APM, Best Practice People, Crossland and Dudson Training, DV8, In2Skills, Medway Youth Trust, Plumpton College, Swim UK, Tempus Training, Wealden Works and Sussex Coast College.