Social housing consortium Procure Plus has joined with Parkway Green Housing Trust to deliver a training scheme for eight young students in Wythenshawe, South Manchester.
Project Gateway will see eight local students between 16 and 17 years gain practical experience, while completing their education. During the programme, which starts in September, students from Newall Green High School, St Paul's High School and Manchester Enterprise Academy will spend two days a week out of school working with Parkway Green. The students, who were specially selected for the initiative, will work with the organisation's fencing team, learning transferable skills, such as time management, communication and reliability, which will ultimately help prepare them for the world of work.
Students will also complete an Edexcel Work Skills qualification, which is equivalent to up to two GCSEs, and through Procure Plus are guaranteed an interview for a training contract with one of its framework partners on completion of the programme.
Throughout the Project Gateway scheme, the students will work in groups of two, and day to day, will be overseen by an experienced joiner and labourer who will be on hand to provide advice and practical training. The participants will also be supported by an assessor to ensure successful completion of their academic qualification.
"Parkway Green has a strong commitment to supporting the Wythenshawe community and economy, and helping local people – of all ages – improve their employability," said Nigel Wilson, chief executive of Parkway Green Housing Trust. "Project Gateway is the latest development in this commitment, and will give the students involved a unique opportunity to simultaneously develop real life skills while completing their education, which ultimately, will help them get on the career ladder."
Fiona Sharp, corporate social responsibility manager at Procure Plus, added: "By drawing on our individual expertise and resources, Procure Plus and Parkway Green hope to give these students the best possible start and help create responsible, knowledgeable and reliable employees of the future."
One of the students, Ryan Harvey from Manchester Enterprise Academy, said: "I've always known I wanted to get into the construction industry, but as there aren't that many employment opportunities out there, I was worried that once I left school, getting a job would be impossible. The scheme is going to be a great way for me to get real experience, and will help me stand out from the crowd to potential employers."
Harvey will be joined by Matthew Ham, also from Manchester Enterprise Academy, Cameron Graham and Cameron Jackson from St Paul's Catholic High School and Joe Gaunt, Aaron Ashton, Jake Plenty and Josh Casey from Newall Green High School.