Potters Bar teenagers complete first employability programme for care sector

PUBLISHED: 08:30 26 July 2019

Successful apprentices celebrate completing the programme. Picture: Supplied

Successful apprentices celebrate completing the programme. Picture: Supplied

Archant

Young people in Potters Bar celebrated their graduation from a new employability programme for the care sector last week.

(L-R) Farouq Sheikh (Trustee, CareTech Foundation); Patrick Dunne (Chair, EY Foundation); Successful apprentices Berkay, Sharissa, Maleak, Alicia, Nora, and Rahul; and Jonathan Freeman (CEO, CareTech Foundation). Picture: Supplied(L-R) Farouq Sheikh (Trustee, CareTech Foundation); Patrick Dunne (Chair, EY Foundation); Successful apprentices Berkay, Sharissa, Maleak, Alicia, Nora, and Rahul; and Jonathan Freeman (CEO, CareTech Foundation). Picture: Supplied

The nine students, aged 16 to 19, completed the Our Future programme which targets bringing more young people and new skills into the care sector.

The new programmes were brought about through a partnership between the CareTech Foundation, based in Potters Bar, and EY Foundation.

It aims to give young people the core employability skills and confidence to enable them to transition successfully from school to work in the care sector or into further education.

The young work experience students - who celebrated completing the six-month programme programme on Wednesday last week - hope to change the narrative around careers in care.

Nora receiving her certificate. Picture: SuppliedNora receiving her certificate. Picture: Supplied

Seventeen-year-old Nora said: "I wanted a new experience and to prove wrong the people who doubted me. One person in particular always underestimated me. He called me unemployable and I wanted to get involved in things to show him.

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"Normally I feel nervous in a new environment, but I've learnt communication skills - verbal and non-verbal.

"I want to go to university to study social work. This has shown me that this is what I want to do."

(L-R) Farouq Sheikh (Trustee, CareTech Foundation); Patrick Dunne (Chair, EY Foundation); Successful apprentices Berkay, Sharissa, Maleak, Alicia, Nora, and Rahul; and Jonathan Freeman (CEO, CareTech Foundation). Picture: Supplied(L-R) Farouq Sheikh (Trustee, CareTech Foundation); Patrick Dunne (Chair, EY Foundation); Successful apprentices Berkay, Sharissa, Maleak, Alicia, Nora, and Rahul; and Jonathan Freeman (CEO, CareTech Foundation). Picture: Supplied

Another successful Our Future graduate, Maleak, added: "I find it hard to communicate with new people and so I wanted to build my confidence and I can use these skills elsewhere.

"My confidence has been boosted and I've stopped stuttering when I meet people. It feels good. I think it's helping my career chances."

The CEO of the CareTech Foundation, Jonathan Freeman, said: "Nora, Maleak and the other young people have come so far over the last few months and we're all incredibly impressed by how they've risen to the challenge.

"This first group has shown how well young people have taken to roles in care when given the right training and support. These young people have seen at first-hand how rewarding a career in care can be and how care workers make a genuine difference to peoples' lives.

Patrick Dunne, EY Foundation chair, added: "It was fantastic to attend the CareTech graduation and see how the young people on the programme have developed the confidence, employability skills and networks to thrive in the care sector."

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