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Teesside : Giving Young People a Chance to Work

Teesside : Giving Young People a Chance to Work

Mike Hughes looks at four of the organisations that are making a difference on Teesside.

The Gazette’s Work Experience Challenge, run with the Department for Work and Pensions, opened our eyes to the hard work of so many Teesside companies training our young people to be the next generation of business leaders.

Stockton Riverside College

Stockton Riverside College is urging employers from across the region to help young people choose a career in logistics, as it rolls out a second year of its Logistics Academy.

Michelle Elliott, the college’s Director of Business Development, said: “The academy was first launched in 2015 to raise awareness of the industry and the many job opportunities that exist within it.”

By working with local employers the initiative offers students a series of masterclasses, site visits, mentoring and internships opportunities.

Taking the lead as Chairman of the academy, Jim French, Director of PD Portcentric Logistics and national chairman of the Road Haulage Association, said: “There are currently 2.2m people employed in logistics in this country, yet we face great difficulty in attracting young people in to the industry.”

The Logistics Academy was developed as a partnership between the college, SRC Bede Sixth Form, NETA, PD Ports, Career Ready and Think Logistics, to bring employers and young people together.

In its first year the academy has already seen its first batch of students visit and work alongside industry giants including PD Ports, KP Snacks, Devereux, AV Dawson and Clipper Logistics.

Now calls are going out for more employers and industry experts to get on board to help spread the word with an employer breakfast meeting taking place at the college on Friday 21st October.

Logistics Academy Student Alice Briggs, aged 17, from Redcar, said: “I have learnt that there’s far more to the industry than I originally thought. I am learning vital skills that will help me in the future.”

Fellow student Harrison Oxley, 17, of Thornaby, said: “There is definitely a lack of understanding of what logistics is. Any links between employers and schools or colleges can only be a good thing as it opens the doors to the industry and shows young people that there are workplaces out there looking to hire.”

Jim French said: “The aim of the Logistics Academy is to increase awareness and prepare the students for the many varied careers available in the sector. It also allows employers to look at potential future employees as well as giving the students an opportunity to experience the working environment.”

The Logistics Academy employer breakfast event will take place at Stockton Riverside College, Harvard Avenue, Stockton, at 8am on Friday 21st October.

Coast & Country

Andrew Bywater with Assistant Site Manager Jonathan Williams at Coast & Country

Coast & Country’s New Directions programme which is part of the Youth Employment Initiative and funded by the European Social Fund, gives Teessiders the confidence and skills to re-enter the world of work.

Andrew Bywater, 27, has just had a successful placement with Galliford Try Partnerships North at Coast & Country’s extra care development The Dunes in Redcar.

After qualifying in construction and bricklaying in 2007, Andrew struggled to find a permanent job, leading him to visit Coast & Country’s Westfield Farm Training & Resource Centre for support in finding work.

At Westfield Farm Andrew found out about the New Directions programme and was matched with a Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) advisor.

The New Directions team at Coast & Country works with businesses and young people aged 15 – 29 to source jobs, traineeships, apprenticeships and work placements. The team is also linking with employers to gain a better understanding of their requirements and training needs and is developing bespoke training programmes and apprenticeships.

Andrew undertook a series of roles working with the Galliford Try team at The Dunes and rediscovered his talent and love for bricklaying, which has given him back his self-belief and the confidence to apply for permanent jobs.

Iain Sim, Chief Executive of Coast & Country, said: “Undertaking a work placement is a great way to boost confidence and re-ignite the search for a job.

“It is obvious that Andrew had benefitted greatly from the experience and I would encourage others in a similar position to seek the help and support that is available at Westfield farm and from the New Directions team.”

Andrew said: “Visiting the advisors at Westfield Farm was the best thing I could have done and I am so grateful for their help and support. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with Galliford Try at The Dunes. I have gained much more confidence and skills and look forward to finding a permanent job.”

Debra Phillips, Employment and Skills Manager with Galliford Try Partnerships North, added: “Whilst our main role is to help partners improve the quality and choice of homes they provide, we also look to help individuals and groups within those communities to achieve their goals.”

Waltons Clark Whitehill

George Hardey, Shirley Lamb, Heather ODriscoll, Kyle Crosby and Jack Butler at Waltons Clark Whitehill

Teesside Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers Waltons Clark Whitehill has supported two local young people in their career aspirations.

The Hartlepool-based firm has appointed Kyle Crosby, aged 18, as apprentice tax technician, in the firm’s tax team.

Kyle completed his A-levels this summer at Hartlepool Sixth Form College and has joined the firm to work alongside Director and Head of Tax George Hardey and study for the Association of Taxation Technicians Qualification.

Jack Butler, aged 16, a former English Martyrs School student, completed his GCSEs this summer and has now joined the firm as an apprentice within the payroll and business administration department, which is managed by Shirley Lamb. Jack will be working towards a diploma in Payroll.

Heather O’Driscoll, Managing Director of Waltons Clark Whitehill said: “Due to the continuing growth of our client base, we have expanded our teams across the firm. It is fantastic to be able to provide opportunities for the next generation and Kyle and Jack also represent an investment in our future.”

Seymour Civil Engineering

Kevin Byrne, Managing Director of Seymour Civil Engineering, with apprentices (left to right) Lewis Hunt, Klaudia Robinson and Sam Shaw

A civil engineering specialist has given three students the opportunity to take their first step on the career ladder by taking them on as apprentices.

Klaudia Robinson, Sam Shaw and Lewis Hunt have all joined Seymour Civil Engineering as Apprentice Management Trainees.

They have all enrolled on the three-year Construction Built Environment course at Hartlepool College of Further Education, and will spend four days a week at Seymour with the remaining day based in the classroom to complete the academic part of the programme.

Klaudia, aged 17, from the King Oswy area of Hartlepool, left St Hild’s school to start her apprenticeship and will work with the quantity surveying team.

She said: “This is something I’ve always wanted to do. It’s a great opportunity, and hopefully I will learn enough to gain a job at the end of the three-year course.”

Sam, 16, a former High Tunstall College of Science student who comes from High Throston, will work in the estimating department. He said: “I’m looking forward to getting started – it would be a dream job for me if there was an opportunity at the end of the course.”

Lewis, aged 17, from Clavering, is another product of St Hild’s and will specialise in repair & maintenance. He said: “There are a lot of people in senior positions at Seymour who have started as an apprentice, and I see this as a real opportunity to get my foot on the career ladder and hopefully make progress.”

Kevin Byrne, Managing Director at Seymour Civil Engineering, said: “When Klaudia, Sam and Lewis walked in I said that today was the first day of the start of their future.

“From my own point of view, at Seymour if we get an apprentice through the door then they learn from their very first day. They know the Seymour way, and pick up the good habits. It’s easier to give someone good habits than to try and take the bad habits they’ve learned away from them.

“I have a pyramid mentality when it comes to running this business, and I want them to build their way up that pyramid. We’re a local company working with a great local college to provide opportunities, and it gives me a lot of pride both personally and professionally to welcome them on board.”

Darren Hankey, Principal at Hartlepool College of Further Education, said: “We have built up a great relationship with Seymour over the years, and we are delighted to be able to provide them with three apprentices for their Management Trainee scheme.

“There have been some real success stories from Seymour with apprentices going on to greater things within the company, and I wish Klaudia, Sam and Lewis all the best moving forward.”

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