Following its recent appointment of managing director, Patricia Wilkinson, North East based training provider NCT Skills for Life (NCT), has announced the launch of an exciting new initiative set to tackle the unemployment rate of today’s school leavers in the North East.
JEF-CEP, which stands for Joint Enterprise Forces- Construction Employability Pathway, is a joint initiative between NCT and the Armed Forces. The initiative aims to offer 240 school leavers the opportunity to develop useful skill sets, gain hands-on experience and to earn a Level One certificate in Multi-Trade Construction, which includes wood work, plastering, bricklaying and roofing.
Specifically designed by Patricia and her team, JEF-CEP is designed to develop team-building, communication and self-discipline, whilst also equipping successful candidates with the skills and qualifications to secure an apprenticeship place.
As the North East currently holds the highest unemployment rate throughout England, with 7.9%* of the region out of work, according to Patricia it is imperative to address this problem and it is one of the key reasons for JEF-CEP’s launch. She said,
“Up and down the country there is concern about young people and their ability to leave school, at whatever age, and contribute to society by finding and maintaining a job. It would appear that some schools are struggling to arm pupils with the requisite soft skills with which to find and maintain gainful employment. This is why we have decided on this collaborative approach with the Armed Forces. Our innovative scheme will put 240 school leavers through their paces for 12 weeks. During this time, they will spend five days at Kingswood residential activity centre in Hexham, where they will experience skill-building exercises with the Armed Forces. Following that, they will come in to our dedicated training centre and receive basic construction skills training”.
Patricia further added,
“Courses such as JEF-CEP deliver a targeted provision to develop a school leaver in such a way so as to round off their skill set, before they embark on an apprenticeship. With an acknowledged skills shortage across construction nationally, local firms need to seriously consider taking on apprentices to ensure their continued success and contribute to the local workforce. Local firms cannot survive without these skills, and it is time they gave back to their local community, for everybody’s benefit.”
Lieutenant Colonel Andy Black of the 4th Infantry Brigade in Catterick, who is responsible for engagement in the North East, said,
“JEF-CEP is a great scheme and we are delighted to be working alongside NCT. The course and in particular, the residential element of the programme will really test the candidates, giving them the experience of working outside of the work place, creating rounded and multi-skilled citizens. We look forward to putting the candidates through their paces whilst also contributing to their growth as a future workforce.”
There are still a number of places available on the JEF-CEP scheme, therefore anyone aged 16-19 who is interested in this opportunity can contact NCT to get involved.
Equally, employers who are interested in taking on apprentices should also look to contact NCT.