A group of students are one step closer to securing sought-after apprenticeships after swapping their summer holidays for a community-focused work experience programme.
The five-week Kick-start course saw eight 16 to 18-year-olds taking part in work shadowing and training, finally putting their new skills into practice on a community project where they converted a community centre in Higham Ferrers.
Delivered by Spire Homes, which is part of the Longhurst Group, the programme was held in partnership with three national contractors who the association works with: Aaron Services, Burleys and Keepmoat.
The partners and students came together to celebrate the success of the course at a presentation last Thursday.
Speaking at the presentation, Lynn Stubbs from the Longhurst Group said: “There are some apprenticeship roles up for grabs.
“We wish you all the best of luck for that process, but regardless of the outcome of that, we hope the programme has given you some skills and confidence to go out into the world and make your mark.”
And she went on to say: “Good luck in whatever the future holds for you and thank you to everyone for the part you have played in the success of the Kick-start programme.”
David Warren, 18, from Rushden, took part in the scheme said: “I’ve really enjoyed the course as it is really good being able to use what I have learnt at college on the job itself.
“Meeting the customers and actually experiencing doing plumbing for real is fantastic and convinced me even more it is the right future for me.”
Charley Smith, 16, from The Ferrers School, said: “I feel a lot more confident now than when I started the programme.
“It would be fantastic to get one of the apprenticeships.”
Each student is now preparing to apply for one of the four apprenticeships available, with the successful candidates taking up their roles in September.
Tyler Davis, 16, from Manor School in Raunds, said: “I am excited and nervous about the interview.”
Sharon Boot, resident and community involvement officer at Spire Homes, said: “Working in partnership we’ve been able to offer eight young people an opportunity to really get their careers off the ground and I’m incredibly proud of how well all of the students have performed.
“Competition for the four apprenticeships will be tough but we’re committed to supporting each of the students who completed to course to find the next step – whether that’s through further work experience or advice on how to make the most of what they’ve learnt over the last five weeks.”
Each of the students received a certificate and a £10 voucher for taking part in the Kick-start programme.
Spire Homes is based in Crown Way, Rushden, and provides more than 5,000 homes in towns and villages throughout Northamptonshire and Rutland.
It is a member of the Longhurst Group, which manages 17,900 properties throughout the Midlands.