Outdoor skills day targets school-leavers

ACTIVITY SESSION ... youngsters learning outdoor skills at West Boldon Lodge. which is offering a training opportunity for teenagers who have just left school. Inset, young person project officer Eve Leadley.
ACTIVITY SESSION ... youngsters learning outdoor skills at West Boldon Lodge. which is offering a training opportunity for teenagers who have just left school. Inset, young person project officer Eve Leadley.

Unemployed school-leavers can take a step into the great outdoors to boost their job prospects with a pre-course taster day at an environmental and education centre in South Tyneside.

Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle (STAN) is throwing open its West Boldon Lodge site to give youngsters, aged 16 to 18 and not in education, employment or training, a taste for working in the open air.

The event takes place on Tuesday, February 3 and could lead to one of two 33-week Groundwork courses – personal development or practical conservation skills – both of which include functional English and maths, and a work placement.

Eve Leadley, Groundwork’s young person project officer, said: “This short activity session is a great way for people to gain an understanding of working outdoors.

“They will take part in real hands-on activities that will introduce them to the work that Groundwork does – hopefully they will be so enthused that they will want to join a relevant course.

“West Boldon Lodge is a tremendous educational and training resource, offering an ideal environment for any young person to get a feel of what working on an outdoor project is about.

“I would urge them to seize this great opportunity to learn and expand their horizons.”

The purpose-built centre sits within 13 hectares of land, close to Testo’s roundabout. As well as education programmes for schools, adults and families, it runs community events, supports a range of volunteers, and can be used for room hire.

It forms part of Groundwork’s STAN’s North East portfolio, which includes the £5.4m One Trinity Green business centre in South Shields, the Eco Centre in Hebburn, and Newcastle’s £6.5m Beacon enterprise centre.

The personal development course, Return to Form, has been successful in engaging young people, building their skills and confidence and helping them undertake relevant qualifications and work experience to increase their options for finding an apprenticeship or further training.

It, along with the practical conservation skills course, leads to a Level 1 qualification.

For more information, call or e-mail Eve on 07984 681 050 and eve.leadley@groundwork.org.uk, or call Georgia Smith on 07894 256 056 or e-mail georgia.smith@groundwork.org.uk.

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