Open day helps young people into apprenticeships
UNEMPLOYED young people visited an open day to find out more about apprenticeships.
Gloucestershire County Council's Youth Support Service held an apprenticeship open day yesterday.
The exhibitors at the event included Gloucestershire College, the RAF, EDF Energy, Lifetime Training, Gloucester Training Group, Stroud College, JHP Training and the South West Apprenticeship Company.
Up to 15 young people from Gloucester attended the event.
Darius Patterson, 29, who gained employment through an apprenticeship, was there to offer advice.
"It is a lot easier than going to college and studying," he said.
"And you are gaining knowledge and on-the-job experience that you wouldn't otherwise get. I would urge young people to get involved and seek out apprenticeships."
Kirsty Underwood, a mentoring manager from South West Apprenticeships, said: "We help young people find apprenticeships and help them from being future prospects to having competencies and key skills."
Gloucestershire has been praised by the National Audit Office for its work with young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) and the county is one of the best performing services nationally.
At the end of last month, Gloucestershire's 16-to-18 NEET rate was 4.8%, against a national average of 5.8%.
The county council has recently announced an economic stimulus package to give young people the right skills and opportunities to get jobs.
This includes a £1 million investment in an opportunities fund, a Skills Summit to bring together business and education and 25 county council apprenticeships.
Councillor Paul McLain, cabinet member for the Youth Support Service, said: "Our Youth Support Service offers a great deal of targeted support to young people who are not working, or in any form of education or training, as well as to those at risk of ending up in that situation.
"We run a range of sessions and job clubs at our district hubs throughout the county, that have been very successful in helping young people to find work or training and give themselves the best possible chance of a brighter future."