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Skills Training UK

Mr Cooper recently visited the Skills Training UK show in Walsall. Here is what he had to say about the day: I have just returned from Skills Training UK in Walsall, after attending the interviews alongside Jayontai and Jake. Alex was also due to have an interview, but unfortunately did not turn up to school as arranged. After Career Exploration and Career Planning guidance with both students, each student identified an interest in Apprenticeships in Warehousing. And after looking at local Apprenticeship opportunities and Pre-Apprenticeship options, settled on applying for Skills Training UK. I arranged the interviews with Ken who is the Recruitment Officer for the programme, but the students were interviewed by the centre manager Marcus. When asked: “Well me a little about yourself”, each students gave well thought out answers. Jake – “I attend Midpoint School in Wolverhampton, which is a PRU. I am in year 11 and I study Maths, English, Science, PHSE and my options. For my options I chose Motor Vehicle, and Construction. I like bike riding and running in my spare time. Jayontai also spoke about his interests and particularly focussed on his aspirations in Warehousing. Each of the lads gave constructive answers to the questions and Jake in particular asked a very good question at the end when asked “do you have any questions for me”. Jake: “when would I start here, if you accepted me for a placement”? The Manager explained the various programmes available through the centre including:

  • Study Programme

  • Traineeships

  • Mentor Me

After asking our students a range of questions to get to know them both individually, he said that he would like to offer them both a Traineeship in Warehousing. This would involve studying a number of qualifications including:

  • Adult Literacy

  • Adult Numeracy

  • A BTEC Level 2 in “Industrial Environmental Awareness”

  • And short courses in: First Aid, Health & Safety, and Food Hygiene

He said the Traineeship would offer them the following incentives:

  • £25 for each qualification achieved

  • £50 reward after starting the Apprenticeship at the end of the Traineeship programme and being in the Apprenticeship for 8 weeks

  • The programme will pay for the students Provisional Driving Licence (when they turn 17) as well as paying for their Theory Test and first 2 driving lessons

  • Bus pass paid for while on the Traineeship programme

  • Pay for interview clothes when they are offered the first interview for an Apprenticeship

  • Parents can claim child benefit while on the Traineeship programme and the student bursary (means tested)

He offered the lads a phased start to get them used to a working environment, which will then roll out to a full time 5 day a week programme which will last 14 weeks.

The phased start would be 3 days per week to begin with, 09:30am to 15:30pm After 14 weeks, provided each student has passed their BTEC and has achieved Adult Literacy and Adult Numeracy to Level 2, they will start the Apprenticeship. Each student will be placed onto a structed work experience during the 14 weeks where they will attend a placement with an employer for 2 weeks. The placement will be pre-screened by Skills Training to ensure it is a suitable placement for the students individual needs. Following a successful placement, at the end of the Traineeship the employer will then take the student on for the Apprenticeship. Jake – Looking at a placement with Latifs Jayontai – Looking at a placement with TK Maxx He has asked both students to let me know when they would prefer to start the programme and gave them 3 start date options: July/August/September Both will be invited in for a day’s induction and to sit the Literacy and Numeracy assessments at a later date to be confirmed, prior to starting the Traineeship. We were given a tour of the premises and met the staff as well as current students. They were each issued a prospectus to take home to parents which explained the programme in more detail. Oh! As we were leaving, we were each given a piece of chocolate gateaux also (one of the learners had turned 18 and they were celebrating) Both of the lads came away feeling positive and thankful for the opportunity. Congratulations lads!

Ian Cooper

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