As students embark on a new term at school or set off for college or university this month, the Seckford Foundation is reminding young people that further education and classroom-based learning are not the only pathways available.
The Foundation’s Seckford Springboard apprenticeship programme, which launched in 2013, is an alternative stepping-stone to employment, providing young people with the chance to earn a wage whilst they learn the skills to succeed in the competitive world of work. Seckford Springboard also provides mentoring and some small grants for young people who face barriers to education or employment. The grants are designed to help young people bridge any gap that’s in their way.
Joley Williams and Melissa Postma both recently completed the Seckford Springboard apprenticeship programme and have since gone on to achieve full-time paid employment. Joley, who completed an Intermediate Apprenticeship in Professional Cookery, is now working alongside chefs at Beccles Free School, Woodbridge School and The Seckford Almshouses.
Melissa, who gained qualifications in ICT and Business Administration, now works in the HR department at Willis in Ipswich. Both Joley and Melissa were delighted to receive an award for their achievements from The Duchess of Gloucester when Her Royal Highness visited the Foundation in June 2015.
Graham Watson, director of the Seckford Foundation, said: “We want to help young people in Suffolk to develop the confidence and self-assurance needed to be independent and responsible individuals with improved chances of finding employment. The success of Melissa and Joley are wonderful examples of how the Seckford Springboard can do this.”
The Seckford Springboard apprenticeship programme is delivered in different departments within the Seckford Foundation, such as catering, business administration, construction and grounds maintenance. Each apprentice receives a minimum of 12 months’ training alongside an experienced member of the Foundation’s team, whilst benefitting from additional training in maths, English and ICT. The programme also prepares young people with careers advice, interview skills and help with CV writing, and provides a mentor if needed.
For more information or to apply for the Seckford Springboard apprenticeship programme visit www.seckfordspringboard.org.uk