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Orbit and ToolShed pilot new training scheme for young people in Stratford

Orbit has announced plans to work with a training organisation to create  opportunities for young people in Stratford-upon-Avon who are currently not in employment or in the education system.

ToolShed, a social enterprise created by New Meaning and based in Buckinghamshire, has supported over 200 young people in the Home Counties over the last four years and is now bringing its model to Warwickshire.

The training programmes are designed for any 16 to 19-year-old who is not currently in employment, education or training. For those with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan), the scheme is extended to 24-year-olds.

ToolShed’s approach is to help young people explore who they are, to guide them through their learning and to support them in gaining an income. Starting in September, the students will take part in the core subjects of Maths, English and ICT alongside undertaking a 39-week work placement programme, to give them on-the-job training.

David Lett, ToolShed Co-founder and Operations Director, explained: “We run a very successful model which covers education and training to give young people the chance to get some real hands-on experience while also gaining qualifications in the core subjects of English and Maths.  Our goal is that each person leaves ToolShed with the valuable skills and confidence to earn their own living throughout their lives.

“We are really looking forward to replicating this in Stratford and we are delighted that Orbit has been able to assist with supporting the pilot project here.”

Some of those taking part in the scheme will be placed with Orbit and some with other organisations, depending on where their aspirations lie.

Sam Scharf, Director of Community Investment at Orbit, explained: “All too often young people who are not in education are overlooked for mainstream training opportunities. Our hope with the ToolShed project is that this will go some way to addressing that. Building thriving communities means creating opportunities that are inclusive to address the wider issues facing people today.

“This will be the first time this scheme is available in Warwickshire and we know from our work in Stratford that there is a real need for training and support like this. Through our own in-house teams and the links we have with other organisations, we are well placed to support training of this kind and we are looking forward to working with the young people who are selected for this pilot programme.”

There are eight places available for this pilot scheme, which is due to start in September, and referrals can be made by any educational establishment or via local authority teams / departments. Self-referrals can also be made. Candidates will then be contacted to discuss their interest in the course further.

Anyone interested needs to contact Karen Cox (karen.cox@newmeaning.co.uk) as soon as possible.