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The success of 25 young people from two areas of high unemployment in Kent who completed OCR’s pilot traineeship scheme this summer was celebrated at the House of Commons on 10 September with the help of Skills Minister Matthew Hancock MP (pictured centre).
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 Broadstairs, 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 and estate agencies, with a focus on customer service and administration.
The results of the 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.
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 pilot has enabled awarding body OCR to roll out its own Cambridge Traineeships, tried and tested by the experience.
Mark Dawe, OCR Chief Executive, (pictured right) said: “Congratulations to the trainees on their fantastic achievements. With the right mix of vocational training delivered by expert local training organisations who know what employers are looking for, traineeships can make a difference. We believe Cambridge Traineeships have a real part to play in helping to tackle youth unemployment. “
19-year-old trainee Alex Foster from Thanet who has successfully gone on to find employment at Levicks 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.”