Greg impressed by Heathfield Works! employment programme

15 February 2012

Greg has praised the success of the Heathfield Works! young people’s employment preparation programme when he visited Heathfield Youth Centre last week.

Greg heard how the 10 week programme developed by Tomorrow’s People, a national employment charity, aims to transform the prospects of disadvantaged young people in some of the county’s more isolated rural communities.

The programme prepares young people for employment and encourages the local business community to support them in volunteering activity, work placements and ultimately, paid employment. The programme is entirely funded by charitable donations and is in partnership with the Heathfield Partnership Trust.

During his visit Greg chatted with the group of ten young people who are currently three weeks into their ten week programme. They told Greg that if they weren’t on this course then they would probably be sitting around their homes or hanging out with friends with nothing much to do. They all agreed that they enjoy coming to the Heathfield Works! programme which is not only preparing them for employment with practical skills such as writing CVs, interviewing skills and work experience but is also helping them to make new friends, build confidence and raise their self-esteem.

On the day of the visit the group were receiving advice from a member of staff from Freedom Leisure who had been invited along to a group session to help them all prepare for the Heathfield half marathon in April. She was helping them to understand the importance of good nutrition and physical training programmes to prepare them for this event.

Unlike many other training programmes the support from Heathfield Works! does not stop when the course finishes. Many previous participants regularly drop in for advice and support and continue to receive help in finding work placements and employment from the project co-ordinators. Since it began last September all the graduates of the programme have either gone on to further education, apprenticeships or full-time paid employment, a 100% successful outcome.

Speaking in Heathfield, Greg said. “This is a great programme and I was genuinely impressed by the way it is helping turn around the life chances of young people in the Heathfield area. The local young people I met all clearly get a lot out of this new approach and I think at a time when the government is focussed on helping and encouraging more people get off welfare and into work, this is exactly the sort of initiative the Coalition Government should be supporting.”

If you are interested to learn more about Heathfield Works! please contact Team Leader Julie Kaye at jkaye@tomorrows-people.co.uk .

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