Jobless youngsters sign up to scheme to get them back into work

Eugenie Clarke

Eugenie Clarke is one of the first to sign up to the Step Up to Clean Energy course - Credit: INSPIRE SUFFOLK

Out-of-work young people in Suffolk are signing up to a new project designed to help them get employment in the region's growing energy industry.

Charities working with the venture say they want to give young people a second chance, a meaningful career and an opportunity to get on in life.

It is part of a partnership project in which Sizewell C, the proposed new nuclear power station, is working with local charities, Access Community Trust and Inspire Suffolk, to improve access to training in skills the project - if it gets the go-ahead - and wider area will need.  

How Sizewell C with its twin reactors could look alongside plants A and B on Suffolk's coast

How Sizewell C with its twin reactors could look alongside plants A and B on Suffolk's coast - Credit: EDF Energy

In the latest development, courses will be delivered for young people Not in Education or Training (NEETs) to help develop high value skills such as welding and also provide a broader introduction to the growing energy industry on the east coast. 

Dozens of young people in Ipswich, Lowestoft and surrounding areas will also receive support to prepare them for employability training and help to access programs such as Kickstart, aimed at some of those who are furthest from the employment market.

The programs aim to raise aspirations of young people from some of the most deprived areas of Suffolk and provide a route out of long-term unemployment. 

Emma Ratzer MBE, CEO of the Access Community Trust

Emma Ratzer MBE, CEO of the Access Community Trust - Credit: JULIAN CLAXTON

Emma Ratzer MBE, CEO of Access Community Trust, said: “The partnership with Sizewell C supports our work with the most disengaged through local mentoring programmes, youth clubs, wellbeing services and online support groups.

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"With the support of our trained advisers we can help people deal with the issues which often prevent them from being employment ready.

"Offered within a pre-pre employment support bubble we can help with a wide range of matters as fundamental as the provision of food, support with debt, help with home-life issues such as domestic violence and ‘escaping the trap’.”

Ipswich Central's Terry Baxter in the Cornhill in Ipswich

Ipswich Central's Terry Baxter called for shoppers to be safe this weekend. - Credit: NICOLE DRURY/IBC

Terry Baxter, CEO of Inspire Suffolk, said: “Sizewell C presents a vital opportunity for positive change for the many young vulnerable people that we work with in Suffolk.  We are working together to give young people a second chance, a meaningful career and an opportunity to get on in life.”

Suffolk Community Foundation's recent research on areas of deprivation in the county with the University of Suffolk found those who leave school and are not in education, employment or training (NEET) face particularly high risks of disadvantage.

Eugenie Clarke, a Suffolk Inspire student and one of the first to sign up for the Step up to Clean Energy course at East Coast College, has three A levels including Mathematics and Electronics. She said: "My intention is to use what I learn in this programme to better prepare me for what I hope to be a career as an engineer in the energy sector."


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