At Kingston Lacy on Friday 9 October, 2.00pm, the 12 young graduates will be presented with their certificates.
Two charities have joined forces with two local training providers to help a dozen young people in Dorset overcome their struggle to find work.
The National Trust at Kingston Lacy and the Prince’s Trust are working with Newlands Training from Dorchester and Whitehorse Leadership from Weymouth in a three week programme which ends this Friday, when the students graduate.
“We’re working with local firms to identify the skills which they need and have been struggling to find among job applicants, and then training our twelve young people in those skills so both get exactly what they need,” says Rebecca Stalker, Community Learning and Volunteer Officer for the National Trust at Kingston Lacy.
“Those skills range from tractor driving and chainsaw training to fence building and first aid. We’re doing the theory, the safety and vitally giving the students practical experience which they can instantly put to good use for local employers,” says Rebecca.
The 12 students range in age from 17 to 23 and come from as far a field as Bournemouth to Blandford Forum and Dorchester.
“The twelve candidates have bonded tremendously since the start of the course, and just knowing they’re not alone in the difficulties they’ve faced has helped raise their confidence. It’s not a personal issue – but one that many people are facing, which instantly makes it less intimidating to get on with solving,” says Nicholas Bonnie from the Prince’s Trust.
This year, for the second time, the group have been learning and using their new skills in and around the Kingston Lacy estate. Project work has formed a vital part of the course programme, seeing the students get an authentic taste of the world of work.
Newlands Training was selected as the primary training company owing to its wealth of knowledge and experience within the field of land based training.
“We have been providing training for the past 20 years and were delighted to assist with this project,” says Lesley Simpson, Managing Director of Newlands Training. “The employment market is extremely tough at the moment and it’s great to be able to give these young people a taster of land based work.”
Whitehorse Leadership provided the essential element of first aid training for the programme. “We regularly work with young people and understand the challenges that they have in gaining employment. There is no place for prejudice here and it’s about giving people a fair chance to get back to work,” said Rob Hamilton, Director.
There will be a formal presentation taking place on Friday 9 October at Kingston Lacy where all of those who completed and passed the programme will receive their certificates.