New skills centre opens in Jarrow aiming to get young people into work

Students with special needs have taken their first steps to new learning after a South Tyneside skills centre officially opened its doors.

Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 4:45 pm
Deputy Mayor Gladys Hobson, watched by Deputy Mayoress Marie Hobson and staff and students officially opens Park View School's Vocational Centre, in Jarrow.

Coun Gladys Hobson, the Deputy Mayor of South Tyneside, cut the ribbon at Park View School’s Vocational Centre, in Hanlon Court, Jarrow.

She was joined by Marie Hobson, the Deputy Mayoress, and staff and students at an education facility which aims to boost career progress and opportunity.

The centre, a sister site of Park View School in Temple Park Road, South Shields, has state-of-the-art equipment to support 14-to-16-year-olds to learn skills for key employment sectors.

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Deputy Mayor Gladys Hobson with, l-r, students Tyler Thackery, Ryan Brooks, Cameron Macdonald and Liam O'Doherty, all 15.

These are welding, performing engineering operations, vehicle mechanics and building skills, and health and safety and functional skills are also available.

Billy Bell, the facility’s head of service, said: “We are an approved City & Guilds facility, and students will have the chance to study a valuable range of courses.

“All our tutors have all worked in industry and have a vast amount of experience in their field.

“A main priority is to make sure students have a pathway into further training, apprenticeships or college, whichever is most appropriate for each individual.

“We will also build links with local businesses to offer work placements so that the skills being learned can be put into actual work environments.

“If any local businesses would like to visit to look around or discuss placements, then I would encourage them to do so.”

Mr Bell added: “This centre will specialise in training students with SEN and additional needs and will work with schools to build tailor-made programmes.

“It can also be booked outside of regular school hours if schools require sole use of the facility due to student needs.”

The centre’s opening will help alleviate pressure on places at the South Shields site, which has an extensive waiting list, and on other borough schools.

Its three-strong team of teachers can support 12 children, with Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties (SEMH), each day.

They have designed a learning programme based on the national curriculum but with additional support elements.

It is hoped the centre will help to reduce the number of young people not in employment, education or training.