From education to employment

James Plaskitt Awards Achievement Certificates at Project Visit

The Minister responsible for the European Social Fund, James Plaskitt MP, awarded achievement certificates at a recent visit at a project which helps teenagers to use their time constructively and prepare for a job by learning mechanical skills.

Mr Plaskitt toured the ESF-funded Ilderton Motor Project which is aimed at bringing back to education and training the socially – excluded 13 to 17 year olds who have been in trouble in the past or who are deemed to be at risk of offending. He saw young people working on motor engines and fixing mopeds, in the project which is run for 250 young people in Westminster, Lambeth and Southwark.

The project seeks to help the learners gain skills for life such as literacy and numeracy, motivational and life skills such as problem-solving and teamwork and accredited prevocational qualifications in City and Guilds in motor mechanics.

City and Guilds Recognition

The project offered certificates validated by the City and Guilds, and dovetails with the mission of the Learning and Skills Council, whose aim is to “improve the skills of England’s young people and adults to world-class standards.” The ESF funding is aimed to help unemployed and inactive people enter work, provide opportunities for people at a disadvantage in the labour market, promote lifelong learning, develop the skills of employed people and improve women’s participation in the labour market and address gender segregation.

The ESF Minister was delighted to have the chance to visit the project, which receives £388,126 of ESF funding from the LSC London Central, and will run from June 2005 to May 2007. He said: “My tour of the project enabled me to learn more about the training and work experience that is taking place. The skills and qualifications young people gain at the Ilderton Motor Project will help them in both their day-to-day lives and when they go on to get a job – in the motor industry or elsewhere.”

The incoming Regional Director for the LSC in London, David Hughes, said: “It is great to see a project that encourages young people into learning. The beauty of this project is that it teaches skills for life but also allows the young people to get recognised qualifications that enable them to get a trade and move on to employment.”

He went on to point out the value both of the course and of the ESF to London employers, saying: “This course is teaching skills and qualifications that employers want. The European Social Fund is an invaluable way of plugging gaps in education and skills ““ it is really making a difference to the lives of people who live, work or learn in London.”

Jethro Marsh

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