The region’s largest business membership organisation is leading the charge against youth unemployment, helping trainees move into apprenticeships.
The North East Chamber of Commerce have been involved in traineeships since they were introduced by the Government in September 2013, providing essential work preparation training, mathematics and English and work experience needed to get an apprenticeship or other job.
NECC regional professional skills manager, Kelly Gaston, said: “Traineeships unlock the potential of young people and prepare them for future careers by helping them to become ‘work ready’.
“Funded by the Government, NECC delivers traineeships with employers providing valuable work experience placements and interviews as part of the programme and we have had some real stars come through the programme since it began.”
One such star was NECC’s first successful candidate, Ben James, who recently completed his traineeship programme before progressing on to an apprenticeship.
The 17-year-old from Eston, Middlesbrough, left school in 2013 unsure of his career options. He was among the first to enrol on the NECC scheme, which started in October.
Learners attend day-release at NECC’s Middlesbrough Centre in Exchange Square each week for six months, where they learn employability skills such as how to write a professional CV, how to act at an interview, and how and where to search for jobs.
Ben said: “The traineeship programme really helped build my confidence and put in place the skills that I was missing to enrol in an apprenticeship.
“The course was straightforward, but included information that any young person seeking work would find helpful, from boosting skills in English and maths to something as simple as CV writing.
“Securing the apprenticeship has been great for my confidence and earning as I learn on the job is fantastic.”
Trainees receive teaching and complete credited units, for which they receive certificates. They also receive induction training in health and safety, data protection and equality and diversity before they go out into their placement. Skills such as time management and effective communication are also covered on the course.
Ben passed his English Functional Skill level one since enrolling on the course and gained an insight into what a customer service role entails.
He has started a Fabrication and Welding level 2 Apprenticeship with NECC and is working towards his NVQ level 2 Diploma in Performing Engineering Operations, while working for BMM Heaters at Riverside Park, Middlesbrough.
Ben’s tutor, Clare Greenock, added: “Ben is a really great learner who is friendly and approachable with just the right attitude. He wants to do well and has been a pleasure to have on our course.”
Employers can help unlock the potential of young people by offering great traineeships opportunities, learn more about it here: http://www.necc.co.uk/what-we-do/apprenticeships-training
Young people can search for traineeship opportunities on the Apprenticeship Vacancies Matching system.
For more information on eligibility, funding and the business benefits of traineeships please read the fact sheet.