Funding Go-Ahead Given For Skills Programme

The green light has been given for scheme to make young people more employable.

More employable young learners, whose talent and potential is helping employers to secure a more successful future for their business; will be the end results of a SummitSkills project which has just secured funding from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills’ (UKCES).

SummitSkills is the sector skills council for building services engineering, covering the electrotechnical, heating and ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration, and plumbing industries.

The Test Drive Talent project will be a great opportunity for employers in the BSE sector who are not already taking on extra staff or apprentices. Brokers will provide an introduction service to bring employers together with talented young people for short-term work experience placements, with much of the usual hassle of the process removed by that broker. The initiative will enable employers to ‘test drive’ the best young learners who have great potential but whose employability is limited due to studying on college-based courses which don’t offer the opportunity to gain work-based experience.

Keith Marshall OBE, chief executive of SummitSkills, said: "For employers, our project will highlight the benefits that motivated young people can bring to their business, whilst helping to overcome the hurdles that prevent employers offering work experience placement. This initiative will also give talented learners an opportunity - that they wouldn’t otherwise have - to impress potential employers. Colleges will benefit, too, as the project will identify new opportunities for their students. We hope it will unlock a whole new part of the building services engineering sector for apprentices."

The project will run from October 2012 to March 2013 and SummitSkills will be looking to work with various colleges, training providers and employers across England to generate hundreds of new work experience opportunities.


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