Success for job seekers’ course

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THE first students on a Pathway to Apprenticeship course are now all either in work or education.

Of the 13 who joined the first of the eight-week course at West Suffolk College, five were taken on as apprentices, four are on work placements and a fifth has gained employment. The remaining three are on full-time courses at the college.

The youngsters from Bury St Edmunds, Ixworth, Stanton, Elmswell, Mildenhall, Sudbury, Haverhill and Newmarket learned how to improve their CV writing, interview skills and other job-related skills to help them apply for an apprenticeship or employment.

Sherry Fry, head of school of participation at West Suffolk College, said: “We are also developing learners’ entrepreneurship and leadership potential as well as organisational skills. These qualities are essential in today’s tough job market.”

One of the 13 was 18-year-old mother Kerry Rutterford who had had trouble finding a job in spite of having completed a Parents with Potential course. She was given a two-week work placement in the college’s central administration office who were so impressed they gave her an apprenticeship.

She said: “I had applied for so many jobs before. The course has given me more confidence and helped me so I could do what I wanted.

“I think it’s for people who really want a job or apprenticeship.”

She felt that anything that gives a young person an advantage in the jobs market was worth doing and added: “Even if you don’t want to do a college course, this is only eight weeks, so it isn’t a huge amount. It’s worth doing and its better than sitting at home trying for jobs.”

Nick Stevens, a key worker with the group, said: “We have funding that we can offer employers if they take a learner on a training allowance and the financial incentive increases if they take them on as an apprentice.”

For course details contact the college’s information centre on 01284 716333 or