Ten years after WorkingRite successfully piloted its core programme, it wanted to try another – helping young people further removed from the world of work. Thanks to funding by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, the charity was able to develop a more supported programme for youngsters who have disengaged from school and face tougher obstacles to becoming ‘work ready’. WorkingRite called this the Pioneers programme.
Twelve young people from Edinburgh have embarked on the Pioneers programme since its introduction in January this year and all twelve of them are still on board and doing well.
Gareth Clark, 16 from Edinburgh, said of his experience so far, “WorkingRite has helped me with confidence and taught me how to be professional. If I never had it then I would be doing nothing. School was not right for me and I was constantly getting in trouble, the Pioneers programme has helped me plan towards my future”.
Today, Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Training, Youth and Women’s Employment, helped to celebrate the programme’s official launch by meeting some of the Pioneers, their placement employers and WorkingRite staff. After the success of the pilot, WorkingRite aims to double the reach of the Pioneers programme in Edinburgh and extend it to Glasgow.
The Cabinet Secretary said:
“Going into a new workplace is daunting and I am delighted that the programme is helping the Pioneers secure work or an apprenticeship. They are showing they are willing to learn and are a great example to others.
“By developing its services, WorkingRite is not only meeting the needs of the Pioneers, but clearly showing employers that young people are an asset to the workforce.”
The WorkingRite Pioneers programme differs from the charity’s traditional model by giving the trainees greater preparation for the world of work via a four-week induction, offering additional one-to-one support, building transferable skills and introducing them to the workplace gradually.