by Tim Nuttall
Young people across the East Riding are continuing to benefit from the support of the Springboard programme in helping them to find their way back into education, training or employment.
Run by East Riding Council’s learning, skills and workforce development team, Springboard addresses the needs of the individual – offering a range of support measures in both one-to-one and group settings.
With a team of experienced personal advisers covering Beverley, Bridlington, Goole and Holderness, Springboard aims to support young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are seeking to boost their knowledge, skills and confidence in their search for future employment.
Working in conjunction with the East Riding adult learning and employability team, the Holderness branch of Springboard recently delivered training for a number of its participants to secure the Level 2 Award in Food Safety – an industry-standard qualification for those wanting to work in food or catering.
Thanks to the support of East Riding Leisure, Springboard in Holderness has a regular base at the Hut in Withernsea where the recent training took place. As a facility for both formal and informal learning, The Hut is a certified centre for examinations – with the support of an experienced exam organiser and invigilator on hand to ensure that tests are conducted under appropriate conditions.
Seven learners signed up to take part on the recent food safety course, some of whom are already involved in catering settings and looking to boost their skillset to develop their careers. While others, currently not in work, wanted to secure the Level 2 qualification to put them in a stronger position to attain future employment.
The candidates worked with a tutor to gain understanding and sit the award, which was assessed by means of a City & Guilds online test at the end of the two-date course. This yielded a strong pass rate and a solid foundation on which the learners can continue to build further skills and confidence.
Springboard’s Holderness adviser, Bob Wardman (pictured), said: “The pass rate was very pleasing and a credit to the learners who worked hard to achieve this qualification. As a seaside resort with an economy largely reliant on hospitality, Withernsea certainly needs to have local people with knowledge and understanding about how to work effectively in this sector.
“Getting qualifications to show that you are ready for work in hospitality is not easy in a remote place like Withernsea, with no providers in Holderness offering the opportunities that are needed. It is therefore exciting to see a new initiative from East Yorkshire Adult Learning and Employability to reach out to such isolated areas and bring the learning to them, rather than the other way around.”
Jayne Wilcock, learning, skills and workforce development group manager, was equally enthusiastic. She said: “We are really pleased to be able to bring learning back into the Withernsea area and are very proud of the learners who have done so well on this course.
“We are currently working closely with the Shores Centre and are planning more learning opportunities in Withernsea over the coming months. If any local residents would like to let us know their ideas for what they would like to learn, then we would welcome hearing from them. For more information about adult learning, email [email protected] or call 01482 887670.”
Meanwhile, Springboard’s work in Holderness continues to offer bespoke support to the area’s unemployed 16-to-24-year-olds through a wide range of activities that are not just limited to employability skills. Alongside help with creating CVs that will make an impact, support is also provided for mental health and well-being, with activities based around self-esteem, confidence and teamwork designed to support the learner as they progress with their job-hunting and interview techniques.
For an increasing number of young people, issues such as anxiety or lack of confidence can have a damaging effect on their career progression at a crucial age. It may preclude them from entering further education or training opportunities, allowing a gap to form between the end of their high school education and their next steps into continued learning or directly into work. For many, the wider this gap becomes – the harder it is for them to find a route back on track.
As the dedicated personal adviser for Holderness, Bob is no stranger to supporting the area’s young people. The former deputy head teacher amassed more than 36 years’ experience in local secondary education, in a career that included many long-standing associations with a variety of training, development and support programmes for young people.
This invaluable experience, coupled with an understanding of the unique geographical and socio-economic barriers faced within some parts of the Holderness area, means Bob is well-placed to offer guidance and support to some of the more vulnerable members of the community, as well as those who just need a little help to find their way.
As part of the bespoke package available to local learners, Bob is equipped to help prepare participants for the test required to obtain their CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) Card. Digital training is provided to bring learners one step closer to attaining this valuable card that is used to provide proof that individuals working on construction sites have the appropriate health and safety training and qualifications to work on site, thereby opening employment opportunities in the world of construction.
Weekly sessions every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Hut offer participants a relaxed environment in which they can take a blended approach to learning – allowing time spent exploring employability opportunities to be mixed with social time as a supplement to the core work.
Support is not just confined to Withernsea, with Bob able to travel to neighbouring towns and villages across Holderness to meet potential clients at varying times throughout the week. Telephone and online appointments through Microsoft Teams can also be facilitated, as can one-to-one appointments in-person.
To be eligible for the programme, participants must be aged between 16 and 24, live within the East Riding county boundary and not be in any type of education, training or employment.
For Erika Spight, manager of the Springboard Programme, the chance to help make an impact in the area she grew up in is an exciting challenge and a continuation of five years’ experience in delivering similar back-to-work programmes across the East Riding.
She said: “I grew up in Withernsea and completely understand the area’s needs in terms of the lack of further education and employment opportunities in and around the town. For this reason, I was keen to extend Springboard out to Holderness.
“I have known Bob for many years as he was one of my favourite teachers when I attended high school, so I already knew his passion for supporting local young people to achieve and succeed. I am delighted I am now working alongside him to deliver this exciting opportunity to a town and wider area that I am so fond of.”
Anyone meeting the criteria of the Springboard programme who is looking to develop and progress to training and employment can text or phone Bob on 07815 478833, or email him at [email protected]
For further information on the Springboard programme, visit eastridingcouncil.jobs/jobs-and-careers/featured-jobs/springboard.
Springboard is funded by the European Social Fund until the end of September 2023.