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Businesses pledge to help young people succeed

Date: 16/10/2008           Category: Economic Development

Nearly 40 businesses from across Kent and Medway have pledged to give young people the opportunity of work experience. The House of Pledges stand at this year’s Construction Expo 2008 attracted 36 businesses, which together offered a selection of apprenticeships, work experience, site visits and school visits for children and young people – with placements stretching from Dartford to Sheppey. This was the second year the House of Pledges has been at the Construction Expo, and organisers agreed the response was overwhelming. Medway Council’s portfolio Holder for Strategic Development and Economic Growth Cllr Jane Chitty promoted the House of Pledges in her welcome speech. She said: “The House of Pledges gives business leaders the opportunity to give something back to the community by providing young people with the prospect of working with them through a work experience programme and learning incentives.” Glenys Gilbert-Collins from North Kent Construction Skills (NoKCS ) said: “One of the main concerns for NoKCS is to provide the appropriate skills needed to underpin regeneration across Kent and Medway and to ensure that local people and businesses have every opportunity to share in the benefits. “The House of Pledges asked employers to offer training opportunities. The offer could be an apprenticeship, work experience for a school, college or university student, an industrial placement for a teacher or a school visit representing the industry. The response we had was overwhelming. “With the new Diploma in Construction and the Built environment taking off this year, the House of Pledges was the perfect vehicle to create new industrial placements opportunities. Employers like the idea of giving young people a chance and at the same time seeing if they would want to employ that young person in the future. It’s a kind of ‘try before you buy’ model. Everyone wins.” Companies who would like to pledge can do so online by filling out a registration form. For more details log on to http://www.nokcs.co.uk/make-a-pledge.html Diplomas in Construction and the Built Environment were also launched at the Expo. The new qualification will be available for students aged 14 to 19 from September 2009. The qualification will give young people the skills needed for work or a university degree in construction management, building services engineering, housing practice, planning or architecture. To find out more about the Diplomas in Construction and the Built Environment log on to www.direct.gov.uk/dipomas or www.connexions-direct.com