OCR today launched a pilot traineeship designed to help young people in areas of high unemployment in Kent gain skills and experience to secure places on apprenticeships or other sustainable employment, just days after the government gave traineeships the official go ahead.
The pilot traineeship, run by OCR and the Kent Association of Training Organisations (KATO), offers young people in Thanet and Gravesend an opportunity to improve their employability and readiness for work. Traineeships, or pre-apprenticeships, are intended as a bridge between school and gaining employment.
A group of 35 young people who have been recruited for the three month pilot will be offered a mixture of work experience, a focus on core English and maths skills, as well as work preparation in the form of vocational skills courses and interview practice. The Kent pilot focuses on preparing young people to work in customer service and business administration and work experience will be gained with a range of local employers, including solicitors, retailers and GP surgeries.
From August, OCR will offer traineeship programmes for training providers and colleges, as announced by Skills Minister Matthew Hancock on 9 May 2013, which have been tried and tested by the pilot.
Mark Dawe, OCR Chief Executive, commented: “Enhancing a young person’s ‘employability’ is vital to getting that first job. This important pilot with KATO closely mirrors the final shape of traineeship programmes and we are excited about the positive impact on the work chances of the young people involved.”
“By partnering with an experienced organisation like KATO, we can listen to what real training providers and learners tell us, so that our one-stop shop traineeship package of qualifications and support we launch in August will be truly fit for purpose.”
KATO represents more than 60 training organisations in Kent and Medway. With knowledge of the challenges of employment in the area as well as close contact with employers, KATO has ideal experience to conduct the pilot. Lindsay Jardine, KATO Director of Operations, said: “It is fantastic that at last we have an opportunity to fill the gap between foundation learning and apprenticeships. This pilot really focuses on pre-requisite work skills. The employers we work with tell us that sometimes young people lack a basic understanding of what is needed in the workplace – punctuality and time keeping, communication skills, and a sense of dress code.”
“This pilot is extremely well designed to focus on what it takes to prepare young people to become part of the workforce. The aim is that they are ‘work ready’ at the end of the three months.”
The initial element of the pilot will be careers advice and guidance for each student to identify individual career paths. Feedback on the pilot will be provided in July.
Take a look at the dedicated pages on our website for more information on Traineeships.